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Friday, January 30, 2015

F3 Space Tactics 101

            Peter Flynn looked at the viewscreen, interpreting the sensor data for Genus Prime. Two different groups of ships faced one another, represented by the colored triangles. The blue belonged to the Alliance whereas the red belonged to Constantine’s forces. Constantine outnumbered the Alliance almost two to one, but numbers alone didn’t decide battles. Then again, the superior technology of the Alliance wouldn’t decide the battle, either.
            He remembered the various classes at the Academy and War College. Combat and space was complicated, and yet simple.

            Flynn readied his data slate as Admiral Bridge surveyed the class with hard eyes.
            “This,” the admiral pointed and swiped his fingers at the holodisplay, “is not the face of space warfare.”
            The display showed several clips from popular vids depicting space battles.
            “Neither is this.” He swiped again to show airborne fleets in use on Earth at the end of the 21st century.
            “Nor this.” The image changed again to show blue-grey and angular ships at sea, many with gun emplacements, others flat-topped and bearing aircraft.
            “The face of modern space warfare is this.” The last image came up showing wooden sailing ships bearing ancient cannons made of black iron.
            “The vast distances and speeds of space travel have rendered most technological advances in weapons systems moot. We’ve come full circle. The point of firing a weapon is to hit the target. Easy enough to do in an atmosphere, but ships travelling at ten percent of the speed of light are a little tougher to get a bead on.
            “So before we sit your sorry asses in a simulator relying on the computers, you’re going to learn the old way, the right way. We start with Horatio Nelson.”

            Flynn checked the speeds and positions of the ships from the sensors again, took into account positions around planetary bodies, then nodded.
            “Take us out,” he said to Ann.”
            “Don’t you want to see how it ends?”
            “The battle’s already over. You know that.” The sensor information was hours old, but the data that would show the battle to them wouldn’t arrive for a few more.”
“Yes, but we need to see who’s left.”
“I already know. Constantine’s forces are too close to the moons, almost stationary. They won’t be able to maneuver enough. The Alliance will chip away at the edge of their line, concentrating the firepower on a few ships at a time. Constantine’s forces will retreat after heavy losses, but the Alliance won’t have enough to give chase. Get us out of here.”

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