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The Disaster at Solo
noodle
Solo. Everyone in the HGN, indeed, every citizen of Hiigara and it's allies, military or not, knows of it. One would be hard pressed to find a single Naval officer or rating who didn't know at least one person who died there, and there's a high probability that they themselves were involved in the battle. The author herself lost her best friend and lover there.

Even now, 3 years on, the effects of the largest single Hiigaran Naval defeat ever are still being felt throughout the whole of the Eastern Front. The initiative was lost during that battle, and remained in the hands of the Loyalists until the beginning of Operation Sledgehammer, barely 6 months ago.

However, this account is not concerned with the aftereffects of the conflict, only the conflict itself. Therefore, let us start at the beginning...

Part 1

Solo

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First let us begin with Solo itself. Solo is a barren planet, half the size of Hiigara. It is the only body of any notable mass orbiting an unremarkable Class 2 star. Systems with only one planet are fairly rare, but in this region in particular, they are even rarer. Not because there is an abundance of multi-planetoid systems, but for the exact opposite reason.

Solo was chosen not because it was the best option, it was chosen because it was the only option. It's very name stems from the fact that it is the sole planet in the enter sector. There is, quite literally, nothing for at least 85 light years in any direction of the Solo system. The HGN would have gladly left it alone entirely were it not for the fact that it lay right on the edge of the southernmost regrion of the Eastern Front. The Navy needed a fleet base in this area and Solo was the only gravity well in town. They could have set up a Fleet Base in the middle of nowhere, as they have sometimes been forced to do. But the ideal location for such an important asset is near a large gravity well, which provides a natural hyper-limit, thus enabling the formation of a defensive perimeter.

Without a hyper-limit to prevent them, an invading force could simply jump right past any defenses and engage the valuable shipyards and command stations directly. Thus, with Solo being the only option, the Hiigaran Navy was forced to utilize it.

The planet in question is worthless. That may seem like a blanket statement, but it is an opinion held by generations of survey teams. The HGN fleet base was not the first installation in the region. The first Hiigaran presence in the system was a Somtaaw mining outpost, which replaced an even older Imperial station, long since abandoned. The Somtaaw gave up on the system within 3 months, finding nothing of value. During the Beast War-era the HGN reactivated the outpost and expanded it somewhat, even going so far as to lay minefields on probable approach vectors. Why this was done is unknown, the official reason having long since been lost in the endless sea of paperwork that drives any modern military organization. Apparently one Admiral or another felt it was of some military value.

It was never attacked, and the minefields were never needed, to no ones surprise.

However, in the pre-Invasion-era, with the Nomadic Vaygr starting to show real signs of widespread organization, the Navy realized it needed a stronger presence in the sector and substantially re-enforced and expanded the on station forces and fortifications of the system. During the Invasion Solo was the target of a single Vaygr task force, which was successfully beaten back and the system held.

Afterwards, as the eastern rim became more and more fractured, the Navy steadily increased the size of the garrison at Solo, all the while adding more minefields, more stationary forts and so on.
Eventually, 4 years post-Invasion, the Navy at last decided on total commitment and established a full sized Main Fleet Base in the system.

By the time of the battle there, it was the second largest Fleet Base on the Eastern Front, the other being the Primary Base in the Zoe system. It was also the forth largest base in all of Hiigaran controlled space, the top two being in the Pillor Nebula and, the biggest of them all, Home Base in the Hiigara system itself.

At the time of it's destruction the Solo Base serviced more than 40% of the entire Eastern Front. Supply convoys, outgoing and returning task forces and fleets, squadrons of re-enforcements, mining detachments, merchant ships, civilian transports, vessels needing refit, special diplomatic missions, anything and everything came through the Solo system on a regular basis.

It's yards and ship berths were always active, doing everything from minor maintenance to full refits and overhauls to complete Battleship construction. It's simulators were always running, providing training and constant practice for strike-craft pilots and capital-ship captains alike.

The total permanent on-station defense force of the Solo system was 150 front-line frigates, 30 light-cruisers and destroyers, a dozen carriers, 4 of them being of the massive Praetor class, and 8 Super-Capital class Cruisers and Battleships. In addition, there were 3 Mobile Shipyards, 60 support vessels, mostly of frigate-type, and a total Strike-craft strength, including both carrier-based and stationary hanger flights, of just over 2,000, 350 of them being corvettes.

That was just the permanently assigned defense force, the actual number of combat capable ships (vessels under construction or undergoing maintenance excluded) in the system at any one time was actually much higher. It was not uncommon for two or more full sized fleets to be present in the system at the same time.

In addition to this substantial mobile force, the system boasted numerous minefields, some dating back decades, walls of unmanned and, further in, manned turrets, more than 3 dozen all-up fortresses of various sizes, and an extensive sensor net. Backing all this up, and extending the hyper-limit of the natural gravity well provided by the planet even further out, were a series of strategically placed, high-output Hyper-space inhibitors, and a large number of smaller gravity-well generators, suitable for stopping most strike-craft sized ships. And finally, in addition to the large sensor net, there were a half-dozen far more capable sensor stations, whose dishes could pick up signals of every conceivable type and frequency, over distances measured in the hundreds of light-years.

The number of personnel assigned to the Solo system was 50,000, including ships crews, with an average of around 20,000 additional personnel present at any one time on the various ships always coming and going from the system.

And so this was it. One of the most important locations on the entire Eastern Frontier. And it was about to become the site of one of the most infamous, and certainly the largest (and bloodiest) battles of the modern naval age.
Edited by noodle on 22-01-2008 01:17
 
noodle
Part 2

Contact

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Day 1

1030 Hours

Just short of the Solo Hyper-limit, 5 light minutes from Main Fleet Base

Surveillance Station Delphi

----------------------------------------

"And now it's time for Cush Cooking! Toda-" *click*

"-nacial news, the DAW dropped 28 points yesterday, while the NECU held steady at-" *click*

"-nd I say again, the frigate has no place in a modern order of battle!"

"You can't be serious, the frigate design continues to be sound and viabl-"

"That's complete nonsense, ask any fleet commander and he'll tell you that any strike-craft group of reasonable size will shred a frigate line in minutes!" *click*

"Vaygr Girl Guard! Being a personal bodyguard to a Matriarch isn't easy, especially one as young and cute as this! On the next episode, Mattie's long lost husband returns to find his wife in control of his clan. Wacky hijinks ensue! Tonight at- " *click*

"-nother proposal for an expedition to Kharak was turned down by the Diiamid last week. The official reason given was the lack of funds and ships to attempt such an-" *click*

"-aren S'jet, whose current whereabouts remain unknow-" *click*

"I don't care if I'm a hi-ranking Kiith leader and you're a simple worker who makes crude, but still potent and deadly Ion Cannon's for front line warships, a design still viable in todays Naval engagements, Sara! I still love you! We'll always be toge-" *click*

"Head-on! Apply directly to forehead! Apply directly to forehea-" *click*

*sigh*

"Over 9,000 frequencies and still nothing on."

"Could always try the Republican channels."

"Bah, like I'd want to see any of their crap."

"Read a book then."

"You know I don't lik-"

*beep*

"What th-?"

"What is it?"

"Sensors are picking up hyper-foot prints, just beyond the limit."

"Anything scheduled for our vector today?"

"Not for at least another 6 hours."

"Could be a mix up..."

"Not likely."

"We got an ID on them yet?"

"No, hold on, let me try refining the readings..."

"I still say it's gotta be a cock up with our schedul-"

"Shit! Prelim on the energy profiles matches Vaygr designs."

"Damn, get the Commander up here fast, she'll wanna see this."

"They could be IVF, you know, the good guys."

"Ha! 'good' Vaygr, thats a laugh."

"Come on, they're on our side."

"Once a crusader, always a crusader."

"Must you always be so pessimistic?"

"I just call 'em as I see 'em."

"Yeah bu-"

"Stow the crap, what have we got?"

"Er, sorry Ma'am. Right, unknown contacts beyond the hyper-limit, energy readings ID them as Vaygr. Looks like a small detachment, probably with a light carrier."

"Recon group?"

"If it is, than they're a pretty piss-poor one. They havn't even tried to mask their hyper signatures and I don't think they have any EW packages online."

"Maybe they miss-jumped?"

"Into this system, out in the middle of nowhere?"

"Just raising the possibility."

"Have they made any move?"

"Not much, just seem to be sitting there."

"Commander, our remote drones are in range."

"Ok, lets see what we got."

"Data coming in now...fuck!"

"I got additional hyper-footprints!"

"They've begun moving Ma'am!"

"They just broke radio silence...damn! It's a war signal! These guys are Crusaders!"

"Drone data marks them as ships of the Loyalist 127th."

"More ships hypering in, looks like mostly frigate squadrons."

"This is no navigational error or recon group, this is an attack. What do we have that's close?"

"Um...Outer Picket 7 is about 10 minutes out."

"No good, will take to long to get here, and wouldn't do much good anyway."

"I have ultra high-speed contacts, lots of them, probably missiles."

"Send a signal to Picket 7, tell them to haul ass and fall back to the next defense line. Also send a report to FleetCOM, they have to know about this."

"Missiles are ETA 20 seconds."

"They're trying to jam us."

"Fools, you can't jam a surveillance station com suite, punch through it. Get those messages out ASAP!"

"15 seconds."

"PDS is online and beginning track."

"Message's away."

"10 seconds!"

"Good work. Our job was to warn the inner system assets of any intrusion, and we've done just that. Now lets see if we can't hurt these bastards a little."

"5 seconds till contact, counters are away."

"Was an honor to serve with you all."

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Outer Picket 7 heads in system at flank speed. On their long range sensors they watch as Station Delphi and it's small party of unmanned turrets are turned into so much wreckage and space dust.

"Poor sods..."

"Nothing we could have done for them."

"Captain, we just received new orders from FleetCOM. We are to rendezvous with Light-Carrier Detachment Alma. Then, together with Picket 5 we are to engage the enemy using delaying skirmish tactics."

"Understood. Tell FleetCOM we have received and acknowledge our orders. We will reach the RV point in...40 minutes."

"Aye sir, sending reply."

----------------------------------------

"Delaying Skirmish" Tactics are just what they sound like: use light and fast elements to harry and hinder advancing enemy formations. The object is not to inflict damage, though that is certainly a welcome plus, but rather to slow the enemy down, and if possible, to disorganize them, making them easier targets for the heavier assets that will move the engage them once the Skirmish elements are recalled.

----------------------------------------

1120 Hours

Just past the Secondary Defense Line of the Outer Perimeter

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Newly designated 'Rapid Response Skirmish Force 2' moves to engage the oncoming Loyalist horde, which has grown even larger since the stealthed Sobaani ships last reported on them, having been forced to pull back behind the 2nd DL by scouting Vaygr light-elements.

Before they did however, they confirmed the presence of at least 3 separate Vaygr units, and possible ID's on 2 more. Whoever was commanding that Armada must have substantial clout to be able to convince so many assets to work together, in spite of blood-feuds and clan bickering.

Early data indicated that the Loyalist's were attacking from 3 directions, all with pretty much the same attack plan. Or rather lack of one. Their formations seemed to simply be the product of the various ships maximum speeds. So fast moving frigates and strike-craft would be all the Skirmish Forces would have to deal with today it seemed, which was just fine with the Members of RRSF 2.

They would be working with Skirmish Forces 3 and 5, who would be attacking the Vaygr flanks. Force 2 was to take the enemy head on. Lucky them.

i53.photobucket.com/albums/g73/BigBlue42/Disaster%20at%20Solo/solo1.jpg
Edited by noodle on 22-01-2008 20:28
Haruhi is my God(dess).
 
FinalSeraphim
Excellent read, except for the head-on comment. Thanks, now It's stuck.. in my head. lol.
I am the Alpha and Omega, the first and the last... the beginning and your end.
 
noodle
I was thinking of adding in a Fox Channel reference to, but decided against it. Though would it surprise anyone that Fox would exist in the HW universe? They will exploit any market they can find after all. It's probably an Imperialist Taidanii Corporation.

FYI, Google is the official search engine of the Hiigaran Navy. I hereby decree that that is now part of PDS canon.


Haruhi is my God(dess).
 
noodle
Do not panic my literal 10's of fans, for my update shall come soon. Gonna be a big chapter that finally gets into the fighting, almost done writing, next is pic taking. Smaller engagements are actually harder to get good shots of. Figures.
Haruhi is my God(dess).
 
TelQuessir
Good to hear, we are all waiting for you.
 
noodle
Part 3

Skirmish

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1125 Hours

Solo High Orbit

Hiigaran Main Fleet Base 3, Eastern Front

Command Station 'Cairo'

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As the RRSF's near weapons range of the Vaygr frontrunner's, further in system, past the multiple defense lines and inner pickets, around the massive shipyards and orbital stations of the MFB, a beast has been awakened. Scores of ships begin to come online, patrols are recalled, weapons loaded, formations organized. The whole of the Solo system defense force prepares for battle.

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"All vessels are instructed to assume Condition One."

"Frigate Squadron 12, rendezvous with Auxiliary cruiser 'Matapan'."

i53.photobucket.com/albums/g73/BigBlue42/Disaster%20at%20Solo/solo3.jpg

"-ll leave time throughout the fleet is hereby canceled. All personnel are to contact the nearest duty office-"

"FleetCOM, This is BCE 'Unyielding', we're having some trouble with our main reactor, estimate 40 minutes before we are online."

"Copy Unyielding. Take your time, Vaygr Forces are still 5 light-minutes out..."

"Light Cruiser Flotilla 'Avery', proceed to vector..."

i53.photobucket.com/albums/g73/BigBlue42/Disaster%20at%20Solo/solo5.jpg

"-ommand, Arbiters 'Atlas' and 'Deon' are in the middle of a system's update. Our computers are down, please advise."

i53.photobucket.com/albums/g73/BigBlue42/Disaster%20at%20Solo/solo1-1.jpg

"ETA to update completion?"

"At least 6 hours, then we need time to run through the systems checks."

"Roger Atlas, standby..."

"Blue and Green flights, target trials are canceled, RTB immediately."

i53.photobucket.com/albums/g73/BigBlue42/Disaster%20at%20Solo/solo2.jpg

"Fleet, requesting relocation of Cush freighters at 214 by 351. They're right on our form up point."

"Atlas, this is Command. You are to cancel your system update and revert back to the previous stable version."

"All civilian transports move to combat safe zones."

"Support detachment 3, form up on Super-Carrier 'Alvarez'."

i53.photobucket.com/albums/g73/BigBlue42/Disaster%20at%20Solo/solo4.jpg

"Destroyer 'Median', acquire fleet data on band November."

"Ammo barge 'Stockpile', proceed to RV point 7 and prepare to begin munitions transfers."

i53.photobucket.com/albums/g73/BigBlue42/Disaster%20at%20Solo/solo6.jpg

"-orpedo Boat Squadron 2, you are authorized to begin loading of nuclear warheads."

"FleetCOM, CL 'Kensing' is just beginning routine refit; half our weapons load out is all over the berth deck."

"Roger Kensing. Refit is just going to have to wait, get eveything back together ASAP and report to your unit."

"-ystem Patrol 10, new orders are for you to RTB and detach your ships to their various home elements..."

i53.photobucket.com/albums/g73/BigBlue42/Disaster%20at%20Solo/solo8.jpg

"-rigate 'Azadi', records show you are currently configured for anti-strike craft operations. Report to berth 12 for load out change to anti-light capital."

"CLA pair's 8 and 9, assume escort positions alongside Battleship 'Repentance'."

"Reserve Flotilla 6, proceed at best possible speed to Inner Defense Line 3."

i53.photobucket.com/albums/g73/BigBlue42/Disaster%20at%20Solo/solo7.jpg

"Troop transport 34, dock with Berlin station to take on additional personnel bound for Orbital Fortress 13."

And so it went on, dozens and scores of separate conversations, orders being given and passed, problems being reported, requests being dealt with. All very orderly and civilized.

The same could not be said of the com traffic of Rapid Response Skirmish Force 5.

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1130 hours

Rapid Response Skirmish Force 2

Outer Solo Defense Zone

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"FUCK!"

"Got one on my six!"

"Break break break!"

"Target at 189."

"Damn, there's a lot of them!"

"Blue Squadron, move to provide cover for 'Olivia'."

i53.photobucket.com/albums/g73/BigBlue42/Disaster%20at%20Solo/solo22.jpg

"Roger TAC-SHIT!"

"All flights be advised, tw-check that, three additional flights of Vaygr heavy corvettes have joined the battle."

"Fucking gre-"

"Bombers are prepping to make a run on the carrier!"

"Green flight, move to intercept."

"Enemy missile boat flotilla is 30 seconds out."

"We're getting overwhelmed here TAC! Where the hell is Force 2?!"

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CIC

Auxiliary Carrier 'Bangkok'

RRSF 2

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"Force's 3 and 5 have engaged the enemy. Reporting heavy resistance."

"Looks like we're playing slow turtle again today. Captain S'jet's never gonna let you hear the end of this."

"Indeed. Well, at least they should be able to slow the number of ships that reach the head of the formation to a trickle."

"Leaving us alone to tackle the snakes head..."

"No one ever said our job would be easy."

"ETA to weapons range 210 seconds."

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Flight deck, HGN Bangkok

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"-ontact in 3 minutes, all pilots to your strike-craft. Repeat, contact in 3 minut-"

"Alright, listen up, you all know what our job is, but just remember, the object of this operation is to slow them down and disorganize them, getting kills is secondary. And remember, the second the last fighter is out of the bay Bangkok and her consorts will begin reversing course at full speed to stay ahead of the Vaygr formation.

"This will be a running battle, DO NOT get to far from the carrier. If your target begins to pull back, leave them and find a new one. I don't want to lose any pilots today, so no daring maneuvers, not on my watch."

"Contact in 90 seconds, all pilots standby to launch."

"Alright that's about it. Try to stay in formation and watch each others backs, and we should all get through this just fine. Good luck."

"All pilots standby to launch. Support personnel vacate the launch zones."

"Contact in 60 seconds."

"Strike-craft launch in 20 seconds."

"All pilots keep in mind, TAC gives us an engagement window of no more than 15 minutes before it gets to hot. Once the clock is up we have less than a minute to get back on board and prep for crash translation. Don't be slow, or you WILL be left behind."

"Strike-craft launch in 10 seconds. Releasing mag clamps."

"Inertial compensator's dialed to max."

"5 seconds to launch."

"Remember, no crazy shit."

"2...1...launch."

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"Fighters are away."

i53.photobucket.com/albums/g73/BigBlue42/Disaster%20at%20Solo/solo17.jpg

"Spin up the missile tubes, might as well give them whatever support we can."

"Aye sir, bringing tubes online."

"Torpedo boats are launching their birds."

"Flak frigates are beginning suppression fire."

"And so it begins..."

i53.photobucket.com/albums/g73/BigBlue42/Disaster%20at%20Solo/solo21.jpg

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"Picking up a lot of incomings. Vaygr sure love missiles."

"Don't worry, flak will handle it."

"All flights be advised, workhorses are beginning suppression fire."

"Copy TAC. All pilots stay in formation, I don't want anyone wandering into friendly fire."

"Flak bursts are away."

Suddenly, the space between the oncoming Crusader missiles and the Hiigaran strike-craft formations is filled with a virtual wall of detonating flak, a barrier of metal and particles that stops fully 2/3 of the initial wave of missiles.


"Yeah, that's what I'm talking about!"

"Attention all strike-craft, EW frigate is in range to provide support."

"Copy TAC. Much appreciated."

The majority of the remaining Vaygr missiles veer off course, either blinded by jamming or chasing sensor ghosts. But not all of them.

"Damn! Red Lead, 4 is gone, bird just took him out."

"Shit. Copy that. All pilots tighten it up, I don't want any more losses."

"All wings be advised, torpedo's approaching from you're six."

And then they are gone, hyper-velocity objects moving so fast that they are past the fighters in less than a second. Vaygr EW does it's job as best it can, but even with the aid of the Imperialist tech base, they can't match the sheer technological advantage of the HGN.

Some of the birds carry flak payloads, much larger than that of the main mounts of a Bloodhound. They detonate amidst the tightly grouped Loyalist frigates and strike-craft, wiping away whole squadrons. Others are single-target capital ship killers and make short work of the lightly armored frigates they are targeted at.

And two of the birds are high-yield nukes. One of them is taken down by Vaygr counter-missiles short of it's target. But the other makes it through, and wipes away an entire battle-frigate flotilla.

i53.photobucket.com/albums/g73/BigBlue42/Disaster%20at%20Solo/solo18.jpg

All of this, from the launch of the first wave of Vaygr missiles, to the detonation of nuclear warheads, takes less than 20 seconds.

And than there's no more room for un-targeted flak bursts or area-effect nukes. The fighters finally reach their own weapons range, and a vicious close-range dogfight begins.

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"Blue Flight, provide cover for Bomber Wing Gamma."

"Copy TAC."

"Missile frigate at bearing 313."

"Green 5, I see it."

"Whole lotta fire out here."

"Someone's got a lock on me!"

"Ion Frigate firing."

i53.photobucket.com/albums/g73/BigBlue42/Disaster%20at%20Solo/solo11.jpg

"Scratch another one!"

"Shit, my compensator's down, I can't handle these kinds of G's, bugging out."

"TAC, I see another enemy bomber wing incoming at 243, attack vector."

"Copy, sending coordinates to nearest Flak frigate."

"A pair of Vaygr missile boats are taking potshots at the Bangkok."

"Torpedo boat 'Longtom' copies, we'll take care of them."

i53.photobucket.com/albums/g73/BigBlue42/Disaster%20at%20Solo/solo13.jpg

"Strategic Wing Alpha, move to engage heavy corvettes at 178-243."

"Roger Tactical. Moving to engage."

"Red 6, you are straying to far out, get back in formation!"

"Green 3 to 'Yeltsin', I can confirm target destruction, good shooting."

"All units be advised;remaining engagement time: 12 minutes."

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CIC

HGN Bangkok

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i53.photobucket.com/albums/g73/BigBlue42/Disaster%20at%20Solo/solo15.jpg

"Hull breach on deck 4, section 12. Compartment was empty, no casualties."

"Just took a hit to our forward power relays, nothing major, we should have everything back up in 15 seconds."

"This is going well, all things considered."

"So far at any rate."

"Transmission from Force 5, sir. They thank us for deciding to show up."

"Heh. Tell them it was out pleasur-"

"Sir! I got heavy contacts at extreme range. Looks like fast attack destroyers."

"Already? We still have 8 minutes till the engagement deadline."

"Looks like it, sir. They'll be in weapons range in 45 seconds."

"Should we pull out?"

"No, not yet. Those ships are fast, but underarmed for their size. We should be able to handle them for a little while at least."

"Alright, it's your call..."

"Yes it is. TAC, make all assets aware of our new 'guests'. Make sure we give them a suitable welcome."

"Aye aye, sir."

----------------------------------------

"-ast attack destroyers, ETA 20 seconds."

"Why the hell are they here?"

"TAC must've screwed up the calculations. Wouldn't be the first time."

"That's not important right now. Weapons, get me a vector on those destroyers, time to give our anti-cap birds a real target."

"Yessir!"

----------------------------------------

"Bomber Wing Alpha move to engage heavy-contacts. Red and Green flights provide support."

i53.photobucket.com/albums/g73/BigBlue42/Disaster%20at%20Solo/solo19.jpg

"Alright, all pilots form up on me, lets see what we can do."

"Make sure you fighter-jocks watch our backs."

"Hey, I'll watch your back anytime sweetheart..."

"Bastard."

"Cut the chatter, contact in 10 seconds."

----------------------------------------

"I got an attack vector, sir."

"Alright, set the birds to maximum velocity settings."

"Missiles re-calibrated."

"Than you may fire at will ensign."

----------------------------------------

"We're in range, weapons free!"

"Volley away."

"Eat that you bastards!"

"Alpha you got incoming, break off, break off!"

"Shit to late."

"Dammit! 3 and 4 are gone!"

"Where'd that come from?!"

"I got a trio of fucking knife throwers right above us."

"How come TAC didn't tell us about them?"

"So much shit out here, must've missed them in the soup."

"That's it, TAC, it's to hot for us, Bomber Wings pulling back."

----------------------------------------

"Sir, our bombers are retreating, they've run into unexpected anti-strike craft assets."

"ETA to deadline?"

"4 minutes."

"Sir, Force 3 reports heavy contacts at extreme range, probably cruisers and fast carriers. Force 3 preparing to bug out."

"Alright, that's it, we're getting out of here. Tell Force 5 to prep for jump, we'll hold the fort here until the other two groups are away."

"Aye sir."

"Begin recalling all squadrons, slow movers first."

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"Corvette Squadrons, you're done, report back to the barn."

i53.photobucket.com/albums/g73/BigBlue42/Disaster%20at%20Solo/solo14.jpg

"All other elements are to begin gradual fall back."

"Fighters and Strategic Interceptors, provide cover for the more vulnerable elements."

----------------------------------------

"All Corvettes are on board, beginning recall of bomber wings."

"I'm picking up some strange gravitic readings at long range. I think the Vaygr may be bringing up a mobile Hyperspace inhibitor."

"Damn, how long before it's in range?"

"Um...call it 3 minutes."

"Shit, ok we don't have time for an organized strike-craft retrival. Order all assets to RTB immediately, give them a 2 minute countdown."

"Aye, sir."

----------------------------------------

"All pilots, time's up, we have 90 seconds to get on board and secured, move!"

"What about providing escort for the slow movers?"

"Their on their own. Now punch it."

"All flights be advised, all flak mounts will go to full auto-fire in 20 seconds."

"Shit, they can't be serious, there are still flyers out here!"

"If they don't do it the enemy's fighters will be all over them before they can jump."

----------------------------------------

"10 seconds till full auto-fire."

"The last of our bombers have just cleared the fire zone."

"Cutting it a bit close aren't they?"

"They just like to show off."

"Commencing full auto-fire."

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Full auto of flak mounts is the total sacrifice of accuracy and ammo conservation in exchange for the highest possible rate of fire. The auto-loaders are set to their highest speed settings and the weapon cycle timers are set to their lowest. Yard dogs hate it, for it is hell on both the mounts themselves and the loading systems.

It also carries a substantial chance of weapons jamming or other malfunction, and even, in rare cases, total failure of the entire mount altogether. Therefor it it seldom used, and never for long periods of time.

But sometimes, sometimes you simply MUST have a wall of fire and metal.

----------------------------------------

"Holy shit, will you look at that."

"Nothing is going to be able to get through that."

"Don't count on it, besides, they won't be able to keep it up for long."

"Just need a couple of minutes."

----------------------------------------

Flight deck, HGN Bangkok

"Move, move! Clear those bombers from the queue!"

"2 more incoming in 10 seconds!"

"Attention all hands, 45 seconds till hyper."

Two more fighters, one of them badly mauled, suddenly enter the bay, at full speed. The magnetic fields and tractors slow them down enough, barely, for the physical catchers to stop them entirely. Those systems would probably need to be replaced entirely once they got back to base however.

"How many left?"

"Looks like 3 more."

"Shit, they better hurr-"

"Attention Bangkok flight deck! We're coming in hot!"

"Hot?"

"Guess something managed to get through that wall of flak after all..."

"Enough gabbing, clear those fighters from the catchers! All hands standby to receive strike-craft!"

----------------------------------------

"Shit, my number 2 thruster is down, I ca-"*PZZZT*

"Blue 3? Three respond!"

"Forget it, he's gone."

"All ships prepare to jump, counting down from 15 seconds."

"Shit this is gonna be close."

----------------------------------------

"They're in!"

"Bridge this is the flight deck, the last flyer is in and secured, now get us out of here!"

----------------------------------------

"The last of the strike-craft are inside."

"Sir, I have confirmed the contact as a hyper-inhibitor, it will be in range in 30 seconds."

"Force's 3 and 5 are away."

"Captain, I'm picking up a lot more heavy-contacts, looks like a shit load of capitals."

"Now would be a very good time to leave. Helm, initiate crash translation."

"I hate this part..."

----------------------------------------

And suddenly they were gone. One moment they were there, the next the whole of RRSF 2 had disappeared into the endless sea of hyperspace.

Of course, they were only there for a few seconds. This was a short jump. An instant later they returned to normal space, 3 light-minutes from where they had been a moment earlier. They emerged into a designated area near one of the inner defense line's hyperspace inhibitors.

The device had been shut down for a short period of time, thus providing a brief window for the RRSF's to make a rapid escape. Seconds after Force 2 exited hyperspace the generator was powered back on, thus preventing any Vaygr from taking advantage of this fleeting vulnerability.

The other Skirmish Forces were there as well.

"Receiving a hail from the 'Paxton', sir."

"Lets hear it."

"Bout time you showed up slow turtle. For a while there I was thinking you weren't going to join us."

"Sorry to disappoint you, Captain S'jet."

"Ah well, perhaps another day. Did you take many losses?"

"Fairly high strike-craft casualties, but all our boats are intact."

"Good to hear, we lost a couple of ours unfortunately. Still, we were lucky I suppose."

"Indeed. How about the other Rapid Response Forces?"

"They all got out ok, except Force 6. Command lost all contact with them 10 minutes ago."

"Damn."

"Nothing we can do for them now. Our job is done. Hopefully we shook them up enough to give the static defenses a better chance."

"Hopefully..."

----------------------------------------

"The last of our surviving Skirmish Forces have successfully egressed."

"That's it for our mobile outer defenses. How long until they make contact with the minefields?"

"Estimate 20 minutes."

"All we can do now is wait."

----------------------------------------

noodle's Notes:

Ranges: First things first, I'm sure many of you may have noticed that I seem to be playing around with the ranges quite a bit. For the record, most of this is NOT taking place at PDS in game distances. I don't really have a standard, so I'm basically making it up as I go, but I feel that the stock HW distance are absurdly short. Massive space weaponry with a maximum range of a few kilometers? I don't think so!

So I'm having things play out on a much larger scale, but not anything like the multi-million kilometer ranges of, say, the Honorverse. I'd say more like the 10's of thousands of km range. At least at the start of engagements, like the long range missile duels. The dogfighting is taking place at HW2 ranges. Again, It's all rather arbitrary. I fail at physics. And math. And most sciences. Also fuck English lit. And phys ed. I don't need a teacher to tell me how to exercise. Lemme tell you about this one time...

Crash Hyperspace Translation: This is something I have gleefully ripped of from David Weber, and slightly modified to fit within the Homeworld universe.

It goes something like this: in all the HW games, including PDS, whenever a ship enters hyperspace, it tends to slow down and come to a total stop, orient itself etc, generally take it's time, open up a window, and the window slowly engulfs the ship before closing again. Same pattern for exiting. My idea for a crash translation is taking all the safeties and fail safes off line, and more or less rushing the entire process. They open a window as quickly as possible, dumping all energy into it, often while moving, and just charge right into hyperspace. When they exit they come speeding out of the window at the same speed they entered at.

This is incredibly dangerous, is hell on the hyper generators, not to mention the ships superstructure. And don't get me started on what it does to the inertial dampeners...suffice it to say it is rarely used.
Haruhi is my God(dess).
 
noodle
Just like to say, you guys really have created a perfect universe for battle fiction like this with PDS. Lots of background lore for the framework of the universe, but plenty of room for tales of individual battles and such. Much like Warhammer 40k actually.

Which leads me to wonder where there isn't more PDS fiction. Oh, there's quite a bit, but I already have an idea for yet another story rolling around in my head. Come on peoples, some of you guys should try getting back into as well.

In any event, next chapter won't have many pics, since it will mostly revolve around the first of my prototype ships, which, obviously, existing only in my mind, has no in game model to have pics of.


Haruhi is my God(dess).
 
Tristan
Really awesome job, Noodle. Very realistic.
 
FinalSeraphim
eh, I've been spending all this time setting up my alessian nation for the roleplay I intend to do sometime soon, perhaps today, I dunno' lol.
I am the Alpha and Omega, the first and the last... the beginning and your end.
 
noodle
O lawdy! iz dat soem updatez?!




Part 4

Planning

----------------------------------------

Day 1

1900 Hours

CIC

Command Station 'Cairo'

----------------------------------------

"So what have we got?"

"Well sir, the RRSF's failed their primary objective, which was to slow down the enemy. Frankly about all they could do was try to stay ahead of the enemy formations and take pot shots at them."

"They were never intended to go up against so many Vaygr. And normally they never would have, but this isn't normal. Nothing about this is normal. They must have 3 fleet's worth of frigates and fighters in play as front-runners, not even counting what must be further back in their Armada."

"And what DO they have back there? Do we have any more intel?"

"Not much, Admiral. By the time the heavier ships enter sensor range, our forces are already pulling out. Still, we have gotten solid readings on at least 19 separate super-capital class drive signatures."

"Nineteen? That's more than the entire Solo Defense Force has!"

"Intelligence has confirmed it. Furthermore, we have identified no less than 11 separate Vaygr units so far. More intel should be coming in from our stealthed ships soon."

"By Sajuuk...eleven? Whoever is in command over there must have some serious charisma..."

"Indeed. However, that is not the most pressing issue. We need to come up with a plan."

"I don't think the standard operational guidelines are going to apply much this time."

"No doubt. No one predicted an organized Vaygr force of this size."

"So what do we do about it?"

"The 12th and 21st are on standby. Should I order them to give us direct command of their assets?"

"No. No, not yet. Have them remain on standby, if it comes time that we need them, we'll need that 100%."

"Sir, we've received responses from all of our nearest bases and outposts. All of them are willing to send whatever ships they can."

"Alright, call in everything from up to 120 LY out, but once they arrive they are to report to reserve positions."

"Sir, do you honestly think we can stop this attack by ourselves?"

"They may outnumber us, but we still hold the defensive advantage. What's the status of our fixed defenses?"

"As I was saying earlier, our Skirmish Forces failed at their primary goal, but they did succeed at severely disrupting the forward Vaygr formations. Whoever is in command over there didn't seem to want to stop either, they plowed right into the outer minefields without stopping to reorganize."

"I'm guessing they got hurt?"

"Yes sir. Badly, from what we can tell. They seem to have finally halted after making initial contact with the automated turret wall."

"When do you think they'll start moving again?"

"Pretty soon I would imagine. I doubt their commander will want to stay still for very long."

"I see. And what have we got in position to hit them when they finally break through the wall?"

"Heavily re-enforced skirmish forces are standing by at all 3 points of incursion, backed by assault carrier detachments."

"Hmmm..."

"Sir?"

"Oh, just thinking. This force here seems to be the heaviest formation of theirs. I think I have just the thing to greet them with when they start to move. Rear-Admiral Somtaaw!"

"Yes sir?"

"I'm afraid we're going to be taking 'Beretta' away from you for awhile."

----------------------------------------

Part 5

Raining Death

----------------------------------------

HGN 'Beretta', also know as AX-002, is a curiosity. In her past life she was the 'Car-Lano', and she was one of the last Imperator class carriers ever built. She is the oldest actively serving vessel in the Hiigaran fleet. The story of how she came to be here at Solo is a long one, so we shall simply cover the basics.

Even after production of the Imperator class ceased, the design being succeeded by the more durable and capable Somtaaw Shaman class, many Imperators remained in service, some for several decades. Through constant upgrading and enhancement they were kept within shouting distance of newer, more advanced classes, but eventually the time came when the last Imperators were retired. Most were sent to the scrap yard, but one, the Car-Lano, somehow ended up drifting in a ship graveyard, forgotten for nearly 40 years.

Until, that is, a small team made up of members of the Bureau of Shipping and the Weapons Development Bureau needed a suitable platform for an experimental weapons system. The Admiralty was unwilling to give up yard space or resources for the construction of a brand new hull-design, so the team was forced to look for already existing hulls. After much searching they eventually stumbled upon the aging remains of the Car-Lano.

After nearly 2 years of restoration and radical redesign, a total upgrade of every system (not that there was much left to upgrade, the carrier had been thoroughly stripped before being dumped in the graveyard), the newly christened 'Artillery Experimental-002 HGN Beretta' launched from the Pillor Shipyards.

She is the first prototype of a totally new class of ship. The Imperator hull turned out to be ideal for the intended purposes of the new design. Her vast strike craft bay has been completely removed, nearly 70% of the space now being given over to ammunition storage. The remaining space is devoted to powerful EW systems, generators, and, lastly, the weapon that this ship is built around.

It is the largest mass driver ever mounted on a ship of war. Indeed it is larger than many planet based drivers. It weighs in at 1200mm, and has a range far beyond anything save heavy cruiser class missiles set to maximum range settings.

This weapon takes nearly 10 seconds to cycle between shots, and fires rounds so large that even the vast storage space provided by the Imperator hull can only hold 120 of them. A direct hit is able to cut a frigate in two, and can punch deep into even the heaviest of mothership grade armor.

Backing up this formidable main weapon is an array of lesser, but stilt deadly, secondary weapons. Rapid-fire 250mm turrets, and larger 600mm mounts. In addition, the ship possesses an impressive array of PDS systems, both passive and active.

She is designed to deal death from afar. Though she has been reinforced and given the latest in modern armor, even with the substantial redesign, her hull is still dangerously fragile, by modern standards. Indeed, with it's cavernous strike-craft bay, the Imperator design was never incredibly durable to begin with.

The Beretta, along with another prototype vessel, had been on standby in the Solo system awaiting the arrival of two small cruiser detachments. They were slated to accompany these forces on routine reconnaissance of areas of suspected Vaygr activity, in the hopes that they would be given the opportunity for combat trials against live targets.

It would seem they would get their chance after all, though not in the way their crews had expected...

----------------------------------------

Day 2

0300 Hours

Just inside the Outer Turret Wall

2 light-minutes from Planet Solo

CIC

HGN 'Beretta'

----------------------------------------

"I got movement!"

"Looks like it's time."

"Commander, sound Condition 1 throughout the ship."

"All hands to Battle stations, Condition One, repea-"

"Guns, if you would be so kind, fire up the main cannon."

"Aye aye sir, bringing 1200mm online."

"ETA to range?"

"They're chewing up the last of the turrets now, I'd say 4 minutes."

"Excellent. Lets give them a warm welcome shall we?"

----------------------------------------

The accompanying skirmish elements, their orders having been changed in light of the arrival of the Beretta, were now tasked with making sure nothing got close enough to damage the experimental vessel. They begin to fan out, making sure to provide wide firing lanes for the prototype ship to engage through.

Ahead of them, at a range of 100,000 km, the Vaygr finally breach the turret wall.

----------------------------------------

"Enemy is on the move."

"Entering maximum range in 30 seconds."

"Alright, Guns, it's your show."

"Yes sir."

"Fast movers out in front. Lots of fighters."

"Load the main cannon with heavy flak rounds."

"ETA 20's."

"I got them on my screen."

"EW, can you clean up this signal?"

"Uh...roger that, hold on."

"Gun ready!"

"10's seconds to contact."

"Tape is rolling."

"5 seconds."

"Enemy is in range."

"Guns, you are cleared to engage."

"Weapons free."

"Target in sight, firing."

Suddenly the whole of the ship shudders as the massive cannon opens up. Even though the shell's travel at incredible speed, at this range it still takes close to 4 seconds for the round to reach it's target.

"Yeah!"

"Command, that's a kill. Looks like we took out all of them."

"Additional contacts."

"I see them."

"Gun ready!"

"Firing."

"...Got 'em, no survivors."

"Frigates are entering range."

"Roger, should we switch to anti-cap rounds?"

"Ahhh...negative, we have limited numbers of those, best to save them for the big targets."

"Copy, engaging with heavy flak."

"In range."

"Shot away."

"....that's a miss. Bastard dodged."

"Remember to compensate for any evasive maneuvers."

"I know, don't need to remind me."

"Gun loaded, ready to fire."

"Forward screening elements are beginning to take long range fire."

"Vaygr missile boats at...256 by 147."

"Ah, hold on...ok roger, I got em. Firing."

"Direct hit, nice shooting."

"3 squadrons on attack vector."

"Gun ready!"

"Shot over."

"Damn, some got through, looks like they're making a run for it."

"Be advised, more enemy assets advancing, screening Torpedo Boats are launching area-effect nukes."

"Roger, we'll be blinded for approximately 15 seconds after detonation."

"Nukes detonating...now."

"Damn that's bright."

"Heh, yeah. Just make sure your view shields are turned to max."

"Interference clearing, you are clear to resume firing."

"Copy."

"Looks like we got a fast attack carrier at extreme range."

"Seems they're trying to skirt the battle."

"Poor bastards don't know how long our reach is. Request clearance to utilize anti-cap munitions."

"You are authorized to do so, but use them sparingly."

"Roger, re-cycle for high speed AP round."

"10 seconds to cycle completion."

"Um, can you clean this screen up anymore?"

"Hold on, let me try for higher resolution."

"Ok, hold it there, that's better."

"Gun ready!"

"Roger, tracking...target locked. Firing."

"...that's a hit."

"Holy shit, look at that! You musta hit something vital. Oh, there she goes, mag-bottles just let go."

"Lots of secondaries."

"Be advised, more enemy's are entering the engagement zone."

----------------------------------------

And so on it went, for nearly 20 minutes the Beretta engaged the enemy at impossible range, with total impunity. But their was only one of her, and the Vaygr just kept on coming. And ammunition wasn't infinite.

"Command, be advised, we are down to 20 rounds fo the main cannon."

"Copy Beretta. How much longer can you hold them?"

"Maybe another 15 minutes or so, they're almost in range of our lighter weapons."

"Roger, you are ordered to hold your position as long as possible."

"Copy Command, Beretta out."

"Guns, you are authorized to engage with secondary mounts."

"Roger. Spooling up 250mm..."

"Clean up that signal."

"Re-calibrate out on the sweep angle. Adjust exclusion scan."

"250mm standing by."

"Heavy fighters at 345."

"Copy; engaging."

The 250mm is rather small by modern military standards. But in this case it is made viable by the fact that it is mounted in a rapid-fire configuration. A hail of 250mm slugs will shred the toughest of fighters in seconds, and even frigate armor can't endure it for long.

"Nice, that's a confirmed kill."

"These guys are going to town..."

"Knife boat on vector...32."

"All by his lonesome? Poor bastard."

"250 firing."

"Target is down."

"Gunner be advised, missile corvettes are converging on outer picket frigates."

"Uh, roger that. Standby...ok, yeah, I seem them. Switching to 600mm, loading AE rounds."

"This is gonna make one hell of a hi-light reel."

"600mm standing by. TAC, can you refine those figures anymore?"

"Uh, hold on...ok how 'bout now?"

"Much better. Tracking...locked. Volley away."

The advancing corvettes are suddenly engulfed in fire and metal. When the dust clears all that is left is floating debris.

"Great shot gunner."

"Copy, searching for next targe-"

"All ships be advised, super-heavy capitals are entering the battle. Command says it's to hot, we are ordered to begin fall back."

"Damn, and it was just getting good..."

"Forward elements beginning retreat, Beretta is to provide cover until they are clear."

"Roger."

"Might as well use our remaining 1200mm shots now."

"Enemy battle cruisers have entered range envelope."

"Cycling in 1200mm AP round."

"10 seconds to shot ready."

"Anyone wanna place bets about how many shots it'll take?"

"I say three."

"Nah, 2 at the most."

"Solid core slug loaded. Main cannon is ready."

"Targeting the nearest cruiser. Standby...check...damn, destroyer flotilla traversing fire lane."

"Where'd they come from?"

"Ah, Guns, they should pass out of the way in 6 seconds."

"Remember to compensate for the targets movement."

"Copy. I don't tell you how to do your job."

"Flotilla has moved past, you are clear to engage."

"Roger. Taking the shot...slug away."

"Standby...standby...hit confirmed!"

"...target is still mobile."

"Copy, 5 seconds to cannon reload."

"Forward elements have successfully egressed. Rear escorts are ready to fall back on our signal."

"Lot of contacts moving in fast, ETA 20 seconds."

"We're only going to get one more shot, make it count, Guns."

"Roger."

"Gun ready!"

"Re-acquiring target...got him. Tracking...shot away."

"...got him. Target is still intac-wait. Hold on...you got him! Cruiser is rolling to port, looks like you got thei-holy shit! Target just collided with the other cruiser. Both are drifting."

"Looks like we just got two for the price of one."

"Enemy contacts have entered weapons range."

"Enemy missiles have us locked."

"I think now would be a good time for us to leave. Helm, bring the hyper generator out of standby mode. Com, alert our escorts."

"Aye sir."

"Hyper drive is ready to go."

"All friendly units acknowledge and are locked onto our beacon."

"Helm, get us out of here."

"Engaging drive."

----------------------------------------

noodle's Notes:


Names: I am not really drawing from any one source for ship/station names. I am obviously not going with the standard established in past games (Kun-Laan, Khar-Toba etc) nor am I drawing on the Greek standard that I think was established somewhere on these forums for Hiigaran vessels. I seriously doubt the HW universe has cities named Cairo or Berlin. However, I suck with names so I just go with whatever I feel like. So I'm taking them from everywhere.

For an in-universe explanation, the HGN of PDS is quickly becoming a multi-national force, so I would figure that the naming conventions have changed over the hundred or so years since the Exodus, and that the old Khrakian way of naming things has gone out of style.

I'm even worse with peoples names, especially having to come up with names that would seem at home in the HW universe, which is why so much of my dialog is just talk, with few indications as to who is actually speaking. I also feel that adds to the whole "chaos of battle" thing, don't you think?

Ship classes: I know that in PDS the distinction between ship classes has become rather blurred. I am working off the assumption that naval lingo is fairly slow to evolve, so they are still using many Invasion-era terms, like Flak Frigate when that type of ship has obviously become much more than that.

To clarify:

Fighter is generally used for all dedicated space dogfighting strike craft. May occasionally be used as all encompassing to include bombers as well.

Bombers are well, bombers. There's only 2 classes of them (in the HGN) as of version 11, so it should be easy to figure out.

Corvette is a term still used for everything built off the core Corvette design, including both the small, outdated multi-guns and the massive, semi-frigate sized assault models.

Strike-craft includes all types of fighters, bombers and corvettes, even though the Corvette isn't really a small ship anymore.

Frigate is for ALL frigate designs, no matter their size or power, including the Tulwar, even though it's often categorized as a destroyer class asset.

Destroyer is anything of the Arbiter class and the Vaygr equivalent, including any and all variants.

Cruiser is a term that can be used for all vessels with cruiser anywhere in their name, but generally, and for this story's purposes, unless otherwise stated, refers to the Fast Attack Light Cruiser.

Battlecruiser, Super-heavy Cruiser, Frontline Cruiser, Super-Capital Ship etc, all refer to anything from the BCE to a full up Battleship. I figure that, given the number of variants and subclasses, their would inevitably develop an entire vocabulary of terms and titles for these ships. This does NOT include mothership classes nor carriers.
 
TelQuessir
Beretta concept is really neat, V12 balancing in my view would be that of long range, high lethality and low rate of fire. Sensors, scouts and ECM are the key here.
 
noodle
So the strike craft is going to be basically worthless? Shame, that's gonna have serious repercussions for my other story.

Still, just like the Corvette has evolved into a semi-frigate sized asset, could the fighter eventually grow into a massive, corvette caliber element?
Haruhi is my God(dess).
 
noodle
Ok, going to work on my other story for a while, but before I do, how about a quick overview of the Solo defense layout?

i53.photobucket.com/albums/g73/BigBlue42/Disaster%20at%20Solo/solo1-2.jpg

Took over 10000000 hours in Paint.

Note this really isn't to scale, and you should imagine it all actually being a perfect circle, I just suck at drawing.

Now, some further explanation.

Obviously, at least with the current weapons of the PDSverse, no one, no matter how many ships they have, can fully defend that much space. The sheer size of the defenses is due to the Hyper Inhibitors, which are able to cover a huge volume of space. Much of that is simply empty, it's only defensive value being the time it'd take for an enemy to cross it.

The HGN has devised a setup wherein they have deployed their limited mines, turrets, and pickets at the most likely vectors of approach. The Vaygr, having not bothered to scout the defenses at all, have simply opted to steamroll through everything in their path, no matter the cost. As such, they have ended up attacking on 3 of the predicted vectors, which brings them straight through multiple mine fields and turret walls.

You will note that the defense lines are not equidistant from each other, there are logical reasons for this. I just don't know what they are. Ask one of the Admirals, if you ever manage to catch one when they aren't busy.

Not shown in this are the pickets, stationary forts, etc. I might draw up a more complex map later on, when the battle gets further in.

As of now the Vaygr should be...oh...just inside the second defense line. The mines and turrets aren't actually behind the lines, they are the defense lines. I just drew them that way cause it was easier.
Haruhi is my God(dess).
 
TelQuessir

Quote

So the strike craft is going to be basically worthless?


Fighters are a means to break the stalemate of a developed tactical picture, projecting overwhelming force within a limited scale of time and space against critical components of the enemy fleet.

Or you could draw out an enemy's mobile defenses and covertly send a fighter wing against their bases on a different vector. Small things like those not firing main engines are naturally easy to hide in the vast background of space... provided if they are designed for low observability in the first place. Our present fighters are brute-force manned missile concepts with little stealth capability.

That's why half the time a payload of several hundred anti-starship missiles is a more worthwhile option than a conventional fighter wing... if the carrier were to be deployed in a direct support role for a fleet engagement. No risk, more firepower, the missiles are the "bombers" themselves in an overwhelming opening salvo.

Who said carriers had to launch manned fighters? That dogma is far in the past.
 
noodle
We shall see. I think the recent graduates of the Naval Fighter Academy will have something to say about that. A wing of veteran pilots is not to be underestimated.
Haruhi is my God(dess).
 
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