From: Miami, Florida, U.S.A.
Last item before the mod will be Feature Complete.
After this I will concentrate exclusively on testing
I've always disliked how fighters are just another weapon with no identity of their own. They buzz about like little bees while the carrier fights alongside them. I wanted something more like World War 2 cariers, or Battlestar Galactica, or Space Battleship Yamato. To that end, I've made some changes which I will detail in the next post. Before that, Below is a short story of a battle I had over the weekend. Please ignore my poor writing style but note that everything in the narrative actually happened as I describe. It should give you an idea of the finer features of the mod with regard to fighters.
Carrier Strike at Red Rock Lair
The Red Rock Raiders had been plaguing merchant shipping in the Aurora sector for too long. High command was finally going to deal with them. The captain of the Hosho had his orders. The Hosho would jump in to the edge of the Tebis system, near the small moon of Tebis 9. From there it would launch a long range strike against the Red Rock’s main base, located nearly one third of the way across the system. The Hosho was the first of a new class of warship—a dedicated carrier. It had no weapons of its own but it carried 24 of the new light torpedo bombers, as well as one squadron (4) of fighters. Intelligence had confirmed that the Red Rock Raiders weren’t using fighters so the Hosho’s fighters wouldn’t be taking part in the raid. It should be an easy mission.
The Hosho dropped out of hyperspace and the captain assessed the tactical situation. They were out of position - closer to Tebis seven’s orbit than Tebis nine’s. That placed them within Tebis’ gravity well. That was not surprising; hyperjumps were never a sure thing.
The Red Rock lair was exactly where it was predicted to be but intelligence hadn’t said anything about the cruisers that were also stationed there. Again, it was not a total surprise to the captain. He had expected there to be some other pirate ships present. Of more immediate concern, however, was the pirate cruiser, the Stellar Claw, which was located about halfway between the Hosho and the pirate base, which was even now turning to engage the Hosho. The captain decided that the Stellar Claw would be the first target for the day. After his torpedo bombers made quick work of it they would continue on toward the base.
The Hosho’s bombers had been launched as soon as Hosho had exited hyperspace and were well on their way toward the base. The captain gave them a new order to attack the Stellar Claw instead. Suddenly, a pirate ship appeared in front of the Hosho, directly between it and its escape path outside of Tebis’s gravity well. It was a cruiser, Iron Glory and it had come from the base. That meant the base was outside of Tebis’ gravity well. Intelligence had neglected to mention that fact.
The Iron Glory would have to be dealt with if Hosho was to make it clear of Tebis’ gravity well. The captain ordered eight of the bombers to break off their attack run on the Stellar Claw and engage the Iron Glory instead. It would take time for them to return though so the captain ordered the Hosho to turn sixty degrees to port to buy some time. They were still heading out of the gravity well but it would take longer now. At least intelligence had gotten one thing right; there were no enemy fighters launching to engage the Hosho’s bombers.
The remaining sixteen bombers finally reached the Stellar Claw and made quick work of her. However, four of the bombers had overloaded their weapon’s plasma generators when firing. That was to be expected. You couldn’t put a capital ship sized weapon on a bomber and not expect it to burn out quite often. Fortunately those components could be hot swapped nearly instantly once the bomber was back on board. The four unarmed bombers headed back to the Hosho for rearming. That left twelve bombers to engage the pirate base. It wasn’t a strong force and the captain had a decision to make. Should he order them to continue on to the base or recall them and wait to launch a strike with all bombers?
The decision was taken out of the captain’s hands very quickly though as two more pirate cruisers appeared around the Hosho. They, along with the Iron Glory, formed a semi-circle around the Hosho in perfect position to keep it from escaping the gravity well. The captain knew it was just luck; hyperjumps were too inaccurate for that to have been planned. The captain ordered the remaining twelve bombers to engage the new threats, sending six at each of the cruisers. Meanwhile, the Hosho would change course again but this time the captain would head directly at the Iron Glory. Hosho’s eight bombers were just reaching it. The captain would gamble that they could take it out and allow him to punch though toward freedom rather than diving deeper into Tebis’ gravity well.
Iron Glory didn’t go down easily. It destroyed two bombers and damaged another two before dying. Those bombers would take a month or more to replace and cost the empire some money as well but it had been worth it. Hosho was now on a vector to clear the gravity well and the two remaining pirate cruisers would not be in a position to stop her. A quick scan of the pirate cruisers showed that they must have been newly completed because their shields were not yet fully charged. That would help the Hosho’s bombers inflict some lasting damage.
Finally clear of the gravity well and with all bombers back aboard, the captain assessed his situation: five bombers destroyed, a base with several pirate ships present, and located where those ships could jump to engage the Hosho with little warning. This was not the mission that high command had intended for Hosho. It was time to accept a tactical victory and leave. Red Rock Lair would remain operational for now. The captain knew he would return another day. Hosho’s two sister ships were nearing completion at the empire’s shipyards and when they were finished Red Rock Lair would fall.