The Fighter Question

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Nych Typhoon
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The Fighter Question

Post by Nych Typhoon »

I'm a devoted fighter junkie. Part of that is probably the romance of weapons that are the fastest, most maneuverable things in the modern sky, and part of it is because I find them an efficient idea: they are the most amount of weaponry that you can strap to a single or two-seat aircraft to go as fast as it can, hit as hard as it can, then come home so it can do that again another day.

One of the battles early on in the series made me wonder if they have a place in the Seikai universe. I noted that those mines that certain classes of ships tend to launch behave a lot more like disposable attack drones than they do mines: like sophisticated missiles, they're deployed, seek out their target and then make impact to do damage. They're a one-shot deal once they go off-either they hit, or they don't and the total sum of your investment is zilch. That's what bugs me about that part of the Abh naval paradigm: I find no flexibility in that.

In a series I find similar, Legend of Galactic Heroes, most of the combat was played out by large warships which fought by maneuvering and firing en masse over great distances, but they still employed fighters as raiders, attackers and on occasion for reconnaissance and scouting. Their combination of speed and firepower allowed them to rush in during a pitched battle and start causing enough chaos to force formations to break off or crumble. Even when their contribution would be minimal on paper, they could deliver crucial attacks and had more flexibility than other forms of attack since they were essentially an extra gun on a little craft that a big ship could launch and retrieve.

That's what leads me to this, the fighter question: are ship-to-ship attackers, specifically reusable ones, a probable evolution of the way either side of The War fights? My bias would lead me to say yes, and is only reinforced by the already-low crew requirements of Abh ships-Baronh Maidguy von Pantsonhead could fly a small, armed ship all by himself, and seemed to be pretty good at handling it right up until he took a whole load of anti-substance to the face. So would it be that much of a stretch to imagine craft specifically built for knife fights with ships much bigger than them to guarantee damage?
"The SDR-5V Spider introduces the Inner Sphere to the future of battlefield fleeing. Blasts, barrages, or bombardments; when running isn't good enough, be good enough to Run Big."
-Zack Parsons, Dorkiest Mechs Of 3025

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Ole_Al
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Re: The Fighter Question

Post by Ole_Al »

Yo jet-Jockey nut!
Let's view it from another aerospace nut's point of view. :lmao:

First of this is space; every bit of movement costs energy that you gotta carry with you. A fighter would be as big as a real spaceship.
Missiles are great fire & forget weapons; better than cannons. Mines are better because they can switch between action and laying dormant or acting as protective drones over their mothership. They can recollected/reused if the fight is over. Sure it costs a lot to use them but getting rid of a big ships at no risk short of a bunch of small ships...

And the biggest weapon a fighter can carry is, frankly, itself: its mass, its fuel, as much explosive you can stuff in.
The thought of turning it into a missile isn't far from here.

At low tech level you can't have fighters because the tech is too limited. At a higher tech level where you can build such fighters, the same tech makes large ships invulnerable. Fighters have no real future in space. If you watch COTS closely at the ends of each episode you will see they used fighter like ships in the past. Now the assault ships are what would be fighters only real spaceship, though.

Fighters are nice "knight's" fantasy but as far as real military goes all that matters are efficiency and combat effectiveness. So it has only a place in some fantasy like Star Wars not real scifi. It's not like I don't like fighters but that's the harsh reality of it.

If you look at SNS4 you will find other things that make more sense than the fighter argument: long range mines; interplanetary ships...

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Nych Typhoon
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Re: The Fighter Question

Post by Nych Typhoon »

Yeah, that's true enough. I guess the paradigm in that universe just doesn't make a good case for it, and from what I remember, the crew requirements on ships in the Seikaiverse are already very low.

How funny this is, really: it's like the "fighter question" could go around in a circle ceaselessly as tactics and strategy demand. A better weapon needs better intelligence, which requires a pilot, which becomes an impractical add-on, which creates a new type of armament that doesn't need a pilot, and later the idea is hatched for a better weapon...
"The SDR-5V Spider introduces the Inner Sphere to the future of battlefield fleeing. Blasts, barrages, or bombardments; when running isn't good enough, be good enough to Run Big."
-Zack Parsons, Dorkiest Mechs Of 3025

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Ole_Al
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Re: The Fighter Question

Post by Ole_Al »

It also applies to the Star Trek universe, especially the TNG era. Since the type 9 phaser array ships have a weapon no small ship can ever hope to match in power. A Defiant may be able to pierce by sheer intensified energy pulses, but the part that makes it through is doubly enough. It's like comparing a single sabot to a stream of sabots. It's just scifi lore that makes it viable.

You are right about there being a circle. It's true for most of this kind of race. Imho the "pilot" factor only is considerable at lower tech and for making the "final decision". We already reached a level, where victory is decided by technology not by humans. Humans are just there to observe, push buttons, and take responsibility.
In the Seikai universe the mines already reached the next step with multi warheads. I guess the next evolutionary level would be the energy shots from the first Star Trek movie. After that there's probably not much else to improve. It's not really an unending circle but a lot can be done when bits and pieces are improved step by step. But then again we as outsiders won't see anything. If you take the sidewinder as an example it went through 7 generation each with dozens of improvement circles. So many even experts don't know it all. But for most people it's all the same.

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