A new beginning pt4
(For the win)
â€œSir advanced scout reports that over 120 battleships and 30 support inbound to pp- 5 jumps outâ€. â€œCopy thatâ€ relied Harold from the cockpit of his covert ops ship. Almost without thought he checks his channel command and makes sure he has his overview array is set correctly and ready to be switched to another setting at his command. Commanding 200 ships mostly sniping battleships but with some heavy support the thought of the upcoming battle filled him with excitement, this was his first large fleet command and he felt more than ready.
Time to speak he thinks â€œOk all sniping ships should have their own communication channel separate from the support also all sniper and support target callers turn on channel command please, scouts do the sameâ€. As the fleet divides its self into separate comms channels the target callers check in and report ready as do the multiple scouts dotted around the system.
Using his channel command Harold speaks only to the scouts and target callers, the rest of the pilots in the fleet hear nothing, â€œRight guys I want this by the numbers, the snipers I want you to hit battleships only, set your guys optimal range for 160km, target call by the pre existing a-z wing format and for gods sake make sure your guys overviews are set correctly, support you will set optimal ranges for 0-30km and stay with the snipers, hit anything in range and keep your eyes peeled for interdictors, understood?â€ A chorus of yes sirs was the response from his junior officers. â€œScouts after we have greeted them on the gate I will need you to get me jump in points at 160km and also a jump to 0 into the middle of their sniping ships at whatever POS they are going to hit, make sure the points are warpable from inside the pos they intend to attack as I will jump the fleet into it to load the gridâ€ understood sir was once again the answer he received.
Sitting in his ship cloaked and safe 130km away from his own fleet and well over 280km from the hostile fleet. A hostile fleet that was right now trapped in a bubble on the in-gate to his system. Harold switches channels and listens to his target callers relay the instructions he gives over channel command to primary the occasional scorpion or other priority ships.
The new procedure was for each battleship wing to have 2 squads and the wing commander to use his overview to set primary targets by a pre designated alphabetic order. This way with 6 wings all with 20 battleships the fleet could kill 6 ships per call instead of the old way of having only one caller for the entire sniper fleet, which in Haroldâ€™s trainerâ€™s opinion wasted a lot of firepower. Haroldâ€™s job as fleet commander was to oversee the full fleet operation in a cloaked ship and relay any instructions like to target a high-risk e-war ship or jump away to a safe spot using â€œchannel commandâ€ or CC as it was called, a high security channel that only scouts and other officers like target callers TC's, squad commanders SC's and wing commanders WC's could hear. Listening to the support TC call another interdictor as primary just as Harold had told him to do over CC he smiled and realised that the idea his trainer, a famed FC in his own right and Harold himself had devised was so far a success.
Looking at the screen Harold notices the slight losses his fleet is taking are minor compared to those suffered by his adversaries but even so their support are now almost all nearing the edge of the bubble and with a hostile scout in the system his losses could get higher than he would like if they jump in amongst his untanked snipers so he orders a warp out and prepares for stage two.
The POS bubble shimmers as Haroldâ€™s fleet awaits the order to warp to the scout that is even now burning silently and invisible to a position within the optimal range of the hostile fleet. â€œJumpâ€ Harold gives the order to the officer given the responsibility of warping the entire fleet to the designated point and the battle begins anew. This time though the time spent waiting for the hostiles was not wasted and primary targets vanish in a blaze of power as multiple strikes reduce all the e-war ships and interdictors to floating debris â€œthey should not have brought those in until we had engaged, giving us time to see them and make a damn list was really daftâ€ thought Harold.
After the e-war ships are destroyed the target callers go back to the alphabetical calling and work there way down the string of battleships. After a few minutes of violent flashes Harold notices that there is almost a wall of destroyed interceptors and assault frigates 10-20km away from his snipers proving that his choice of support target caller was a good one. As he sees the larger hostile support within 70km of his snipers Harold decides its time to finish the fight and asks if his support scout is in position. The scout gives his position and Harold gives the order over CC for all cruiser and battlecrusier support ships to prepare for warp.
The target caller confirms the ready order and the entire close range hard hitting support squad lands right in the middle of the hostile sniping fleet. Harold can only imagine the mayhem this has caused in the hostile communication channels as his close range damage dealers rip through untanked sniping ships. He watches as the hostile heavy support tries to turn and burn back to help their comrades but at 80-100km it is a hopeless effort. As the first hostile BS warps away to a safe spot Harold calls in the interdictors to bubble the enemy sniping ships. He notices that the losses he is taking are now virtually zero as the hostile sniping fleet tries to run and stops shooting or targeting his long-range ships. â€œTheir falling apart its time for the killâ€ he thinks and calls for all sniping ships to target the heavy support.
The heavy support that was burning back to help their comrades folds under the might of so many sniping battleships and Harold gives the order to the sniping fleet to reacquire battleships and now the almost helpless snipers bubbled and torn apart by the close range high damage weapons of his heavy support and the merciless long range fittings of his sniping fleet finally succumb to blackness. As the number of hostiles thin out Harold orders all target callers to switch to the general war setting on their overviews witch shows all the types of hostile ships and call targets of opportunity to finishing moping up.
Blind panic sets in as the outer hatch on his ship opens, turning to confusion as light streams in and not the vacuum and cold of deep space. A familiar face leans in grinning from ear to ear â€œnice fight boyâ€ says his long time mentor and commander. â€œSir I donâ€™t understand where I am whatâ€™s happeningâ€ all the answer he got was â€œfollow meâ€.
Sitting with a large scotch in his hand Harold listens intently to his mentor â€œItâ€™s a flight simulator with a bit of a difference you see, its totally holographic and we use drugs to take you from your quarters to the simulator then it takes over, you wake up talk to various people even eat and drink all to give you the illusion that nothing has changed also it can fully replicate any environmentâ€. â€œThen over a period of about a month we put you in a position that gives you command of a fleet and see how you do" his mentor pauses and looks him in the eye "understand this Harold if you fail a test your out its all for the winâ€. At hearing this Harold felt numb it felt so real â€œSo everything I have done over the last few weeks with you and others has been a total illusion designed to test my worthiness and skill as a fleet commanderâ€. His commander replied â€œSix weeks actually Harold and its also about trust, sometimes we get a spy or a sell-out who gets paid a lot to lose a fight its rare but I have seen it beforeâ€.
Harold had to ask â€œWhat happens to them sirâ€. The coldness beneath the surface that distinguished this man Harold considered his idol showed fully as he stared into his eyes, â€œWhen I am running the simulation I follow the battle to the end and the door on his ship opens just like yours did, as I said earlier it can replicate any environmentâ€. Harold understood the implication of those words, an explosive decompression, all pilots since the earliest days of space flight had almost certainly had nightmares about it. Your eyeballs freezing, any air in your lungs expanding to burst them like balloons the arteries and veins in your body bursting and the blood freezing as it pours out into the almost absolute zero cold of space. â€œSo how did I doâ€ smiled Harold sipping his scotch and leaning back in his chair. â€œNot bad for a level one fleet operation Harold not bad at all, level two to four the enemy actually have an imagination but stick to certain guide lines and tactics and level five you get to face an actual highly experienced fleet commander with the gloves off so to speakâ€ his mentor replied with a smile that left Harold with no doubt what so ever who he would be facing for his level five test. Raising his glass and for the first time in his career being able to hold his commanders stare he smiles back raises his glass and says â€œ for the winâ€.
The use of channel command takes practice if your not used to it so if your gonna try it practice a lot or you will end up giving orders to either nobdy if your the FC, or to the FC if your a scout or target caller by pushing the wrong button on TS.
Although I use a variation of these tactics in eve the lag unfortunately does not permit the numbers I have divided my wings into in the story (Although it should *sobs
). Try 40-60 snipers per target caller that should give you enough non-lagged out ships per wing to kill their share.
And of course the tactics depend on the hostiles doing a good impression of a POS by sitting still and not having a plan or tactics of there own. But for any fledgling alliances out there or trainee fleet commanders id say the basics of large fleet ops are pretty well covered in this story and should give you a good base to develop your own variations.
Cleared for publication by: Ander