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Old 05-19-2011, 08:51 AM   #11
Fred Brackin
 
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Default Re: [Spaceships] The hard, ungrateful life of a CAG (fighter squadron leader)

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Originally Posted by Pragmatic View Post
Just out of curiosity: I'm looking (browsing, in a distracted way) through SS4 (Carriers). Is there any rule that makes it a viable option to choose fighters over missiles?
More of a 2 part situation than a rule.

The first qualifier is that a small ship can destroy a big ship. Nukes or KE weapons launched at very high speeds will do this.

The second is that you need big ships for some reason but do not wish to risk their destruction. So you keep the big ships out of engagement range. They never appear on the battle map. They just send out the small ships to fight. This also is possible and for multiple reasons.

If those small ships are SM+4 or +5 you might well call them "fighters" even if they do not engage in dogfights.

Now you might ask about long range smart missiles that can be launched from beyond the tactical battle map or unmanned missile carriers but you'll be building those as small ships under the Spaceships rules rather than shooting them out of standard missile tubes.
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Old 05-19-2011, 08:58 AM   #12
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Default Re: [Spaceships] The hard, ungrateful life of a CAG (fighter squadron leader)

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Originally Posted by Fred Brackin View Post
More of a 2 part situation than a rule.

The first qualifier is that a small ship can destroy a big ship. Nukes or KE weapons launched at very high speeds will do this.

The second is that you need big ships for some reason but do not wish to risk their destruction. So you keep the big ships out of engagement range. They never appear on the battle map. They just send out the small ships to fight. This also is possible and for multiple reasons.

If those small ships are SM+4 or +5 you might well call them "fighters" even if they do not engage in dogfights.

Now you might ask about long range smart missiles that can be launched from beyond the tactical battle map or unmanned missile carriers but you'll be building those as small ships under the Spaceships rules rather than shooting them out of standard missile tubes.
Can we please move this post to the just-recently-linked thread where it is more on-topic? Keeping issues separated eases search later. The thread issue is mostly for cases where fighters are already an established part of the doctrine.
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Old 05-19-2011, 09:02 AM   #13
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Default Re: [Spaceships] The hard, ungrateful life of a CAG (fighter squadron leader)

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Originally Posted by Fred Brackin View Post
The second is that you need big ships for some reason but do not wish to risk their destruction. So you keep the big ships out of engagement range. They never appear on the battle map. They just send out the small ships to fight. This also is possible and for multiple reasons.

For sourcing on these types of encounters take a look at most of the Major Battles in the Pacific in WWII...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_the_coral_sea

First major battle where the ships of the opposing fleet never SAW each other

also

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Midway

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Philippine_Sea

For a fictional treatment I always liked Babylon 5 and its take...

Capital Ships were expensive but had the ability to form jump points (or warp or hyperdrive or or) fighters fought well but needed the Capital ship to go anywhere...You MIGHT risk the Capital Ship in a Major Assault...otherwise use the fighters and if you have to withdraw while they hold off the enemy...well hard decisions like that come with an Admiral's Stars...
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Old 05-19-2011, 09:35 AM   #14
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Default Re: [Spaceships] The hard, ungrateful life of a CAG (fighter squadron leader)

Just getting around to reading this thread....

Realistically, the CAG of a space-opera carrier (like those mentioned in the OP) is more likely to have points in Strategy (Space) for planning the operation and spend time in the Control Room of the ship (assuming the Control Room of SM >10 ships includes a CIC [Combat Information Center]) than he would be in-flight among the other pilots with Piloting, Gunner, Artillery, etc. He'd be in contact with the carrier's squadron leaders - no sense in him being in contact with the individual pilots during combat unless he had specific orders for that particular flight of fighters.

In short, the chain of command goes Admiralty -> Task Force Commander (usually a Commodore in rank) -> Ship Captain -> CAG -> Squadron Leaders -> Flight Leader (4 birds from a squadron) -> Individual Pilots. Skipping over the chain are usually in the form of the Task Force Commander talking to the CAGs, the CAGs talking to Flight Leaders, and Squadron Leaders talking to Individual Pilots; these rarely earn contempt from those skipped, as the fast pace of combat often means the skips are necessary to save lives on your side.

Of course, in a Suitably Heroic Moment the CAG is well within his rights to board a fighter - I seem to recall a few times after he was promoted to General that Wedge Antilles did just that.
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Old 05-19-2011, 09:48 AM   #15
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Default Re: [Spaceships] The hard, ungrateful life of a CAG (fighter squadron leader)

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Originally Posted by tbrock1031 View Post
Just getting around to reading this thread....

Realistically, the CAG of a space-opera carrier (like those mentioned in the OP) is more likely to have points in Strategy (Space) for planning the operation and spend time in the Control Room of the ship (assuming the Control Room of SM >10 ships includes a CIC [Combat Information Center]) than he would be in-flight among the other pilots with Piloting, Gunner, Artillery, etc. He'd be in contact with the carrier's squadron leaders - no sense in him being in contact with the individual pilots during combat unless he had specific orders for that particular flight of fighters.

In short, the chain of command goes Admiralty -> Task Force Commander (usually a Commodore in rank) -> Ship Captain -> CAG -> Squadron Leaders -> Flight Leader (4 birds from a squadron) -> Individual Pilots. Skipping over the chain are usually in the form of the Task Force Commander talking to the CAGs, the CAGs talking to Flight Leaders, and Squadron Leaders talking to Individual Pilots; these rarely earn contempt from those skipped, as the fast pace of combat often means the skips are necessary to save lives on your side.

Of course, in a Suitably Heroic Moment the CAG is well within his rights to board a fighter - I seem to recall a few times after he was promoted to General that Wedge Antilles did just that.
So what about the situation when there is a total of 6-24 fighters on the carrier (the typical number being 10-12). Imagine something modeled after the Ur-Quan Kzer-Za Dreadnought or a Protoss Carrier (but in space and with human-piloted fighters).
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Old 05-19-2011, 10:08 AM   #16
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Default Re: [Spaceships] The hard, ungrateful life of a CAG (fighter squadron leader)

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Just getting around to reading this thread....

Realistically, the CAG of a space-opera carrier (like those mentioned in the OP) is more likely to have points in Strategy (Space)
Also I would expect Leadership, Administration, Politics (Navy), and Teaching.

Particularly Teaching as CAG's come up from Squadron Leaders and will usually be grooming one or more of their Squadron Leaders to take CAG slots someday. The same way that the Squadron Leaders will be grooming a couple of pilots to take their place...
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Old 05-19-2011, 11:37 AM   #17
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Default Re: [Spaceships] The hard, ungrateful life of a CAG (fighter squadron leader)

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Originally Posted by vicky_molokh View Post
Anyone got thoughts on the issue?
Thanks in advance!
The only person who would be performing actual command tasks for a fighter wing would be sitting back on the carrier in a combat operations centre. It isn't the job of anyone actually flying a fighter, because they already have more than enough to do...unless of course they have compartmentalized mind.
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Old 05-19-2011, 11:51 AM   #18
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Default Re: [Spaceships] The hard, ungrateful life of a CAG (fighter squadron leader)

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Originally Posted by vicky_molokh View Post
So what about the situation when there is a total of 6-24 fighters on the carrier (the typical number being 10-12). Imagine something modeled after the Ur-Quan Kzer-Za Dreadnought or a Protoss Carrier (but in space and with human-piloted fighters).
In that case you probably wouldn't have a CAG, but only a squadron leader who doubles as such. Everything else should remain the same. The other question is why that would make sense. In the games you quoted it limits management and power of the units, but in a tabletop setting that would hardly matter.
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Old 05-19-2011, 11:59 AM   #19
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Default Re: [Spaceships] The hard, ungrateful life of a CAG (fighter squadron leader)

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In that case you probably wouldn't have a CAG, but only a squadron leader who doubles as such.
Most likely the Flight Leader would report like the other department heads (Navigation/Engineering/Weapons/Marine) on the vessel, heck I think some of the larger Wet Navy non-carriers still have a Flight Department...even if they only have 1 Helicopter...
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Old 05-19-2011, 02:58 PM   #20
Fred Brackin
 
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Default Re: [Spaceships] The hard, ungrateful life of a CAG (fighter squadron leader)

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Originally Posted by vicky_molokh View Post
So what about the situation when there is a total of 6-24 fighters on the carrier (the typical number being 10-12). Imagine something modeled after the Ur-Quan Kzer-Za Dreadnought or a Protoss Carrier (but in space and with human-piloted fighters).
Ur-whatzitz measn nothing to me but the basic unit of organization for humans is going to likley be no more than 12 whether they are men in an infantry squad or vehicles in a squadron.

One of those pilots is going to be senior to the others and have a job title similar to Squadron Leader. With 24 vehicles (even if of the same type) you get 2 squadrons but one of the Squadron Leaders will be senior to the other. That one will have overall command of the fighters with the other squadron leader second.

The senior squadron leader may get a brevet to "CAG" even if his total "command" doesn't really add up to an "Air Group". Whether or not the senior fighter officer flies or stays in the CIC is highly dependant on time and place and either is possible.
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