"There are those who believe that life here began out there, far across the universe, with tribes of humans who may have been the forefathers of the Egyptians, or the Toltecs, or the Mayans. Some believe that there may yet be brothers of man who even now fight to survive, somewhere beyond the heavens."

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JULY 1, 2020 - 20th ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION AT ALL-CON DALLAS 2020

The Fire Direction Center is the heart of the Gun Crews! Military Intel, Information and Enemy Assessments can be found here, alongside Operation Planning!

Preparations and discussions regarding operations will take place here, in the Battlestar Gun Crews Fire Directions Center (FDC). This is the place, where all information about the enemy, tactical situation and operational planning culminate in the final orders given to all Gun Teams aboard their trusted turrets. This is, where the destruction of entire fleets may be decided. 

Enemy Assessment: A broad overview over the Cylon Fleet, Baseships, Doctrine, Capabilities, and Territories can be found attached to this discussion!

Feel free to post any ideas, comments or discussions regarding operations, military structure, and the role of Gun Batteries etc here! 

Mik Zeleahir compiled a beautiful little playlist of music that fits the typical Battlestar Galactica mood for battles, operations, and planning. It can be found here!

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Battlestar Raven Gun Crews FDC Report #2019_11_3

Attention Gun Crews!

To ensure the combat effectiveness of Raven's mighty arsenal, the KEW battery detachments will perform an interactive combat exercise over the course of the coming week.

The Gun Crews will be presented daily with a tactical choice on how to engage the enemy. This will include the choice of the ordinance, targeting certain subsystems, maneuvers and more. Each choice will have a certain chance of success or failure. These outcomes will shape the course of the battle.

The goal will be to destroy the enemy vessel before it can flee while sustaining minimal damage to the Battlestar and casualties among her squadrons.

Important Note:
Because intel on the capabilities and structure of modern Cylon Basestars is minimal at the moment, the simulated combat of this exercise will be fought against a classic Hades-Class Basestar as seen in the First Cylon War.

Battlestar Gun Crews Combat Exercise

Day One

A combat drill is a strange streak of normalcy after the attack. Suddenly, nothing about the training is theoretical anymore. All over the CIC, in the Fire direction centers and aboard their turreted batteries, officers and crewmen assume their stations.
With all detachments and stations prepared for the combat exercise, the scenario can begin.



Attention! All stations set to condition one.

DRADIS contact, Cylon Basestar Class "Hades" MK1.
Launch alert vipers.


In this scenario, Battlestar Raven faces an old foe. A mighty Basestar, as it was seen at the height of the First Cylon War, has jumped into range and is launching raiders rapidly. Its looming form lies right ahead of the Battlestar, and there is little time to decide on how to approach it.

Choice: VOTE HERE www.strawpoll.me/18994879
Three options present themselves to the officers in command.

A. Keep the distance, launch reserve Vipers.
The Cylon Raiders will surely try and attack with an overwhelming force. Before going into battle, the Raven can try and launch reserve vipers to bolster the number of its squadrons.
This will allow the Vipers to push deeper into Cylon formations, even enabling them to perform attack runs against the Basestar itself at some risk.

B. Approach for broadside fire.
A Battlestar is more maneuverable than the Hades MK1 in battle. While closing in at mid-range, the Raven can engage the enemy directly with her kinetic batteries and keep away from the ideal firing arcs of the Cylon's main batteries.

C. Head-On attack run

To take full advantage of her super heavy main batteries, the Raven can attack the Basestar head-on. This is guaranteed to deal massive damage against the target, but it will leave the Raven in a more vulnerable position than broadside fire.

Battlestar Gun Crews Combat Exercise

Day One

Chosen: B) Approach for broadside fire



A deep thunder shakes the ship to its heart when Battlestar Raven opens fire with her superheavy primary cannons. White streaks span the space between the giants facing one another, trails of projectiles rapidly exchanged. For a single moment, the first shots of the battle seem to simply disappear, before the full kinetic force of the impact erupts on the Basestar’s armored hull.
Three shots hit the foe directly, the fourth glancing off the angled armor. Their raw force rips through layers of heavy plating, buckling and bending the very frame of the ship. But the Cylon of old built their warships to last, and the mighty hulk of the vessel prevails against even such an attack.

With thrusters burning bright along its outer rim, the mighty fortress of the Cylon fleet begins to turn, facing the damaged section away from the immediate threat. From the undamaged hangars pour seemingly endless swarms of raiders, like a flood of deadly steel and chrome burning hard to meet their enemy.

On her approach, the Raven turns her prow, battery emplacements ready along her pods and spine. The detachments are awaiting their final orders, ready to engage as soon as they enter firing range.

Choice:
VOTE HERE 
www.strawpoll.me/19000161
As the Raven approaches her foe, the sheer hulk of the Basestar blots out all stars in the sky. The firing direction centers must decide on which targets to focus their fire.



A. Suppressive Fire
The Raven’s batteries can lay suppressive fire on the Basestar’s hangars and launching raiders, decimating the Cylon strike force and lending support to the Viper Squadrons.
This will barely damage the Basestar directly, but it will greatly bolster the Raven’s defenses.

B. Target the Defenses
The Basestar is covered in point defense weaponry, creating fields of nearly impenetrable flak all around the massive vessel. Taking out these defenses will make later missile- and nuclear strikes much more likely to succeed. However, this will not impede the Basestar’s offensive capabilities.

C. Target the Primary Weapons

Massive Towers rise from the main hulls of the Hades MkI, sending bursts of heavy fire against the Raven. Her heavy armor will not be able to withstand this fire forever. Taking out these heavy weapons will greatly impede the Basestar’s direct ship-to-ship capabilities.

D. Target the Thrusters
The Cylon Basestar boasts a huge hull containing countless secondary systems and redundancies. If one side is damaged, it will simply turn so that new gun emplacements and armor face the Raven. Disabling the maneuvering thrusters will limit its capability to do so. However, this will leave the Basestar’s offensive and defensive capabilities unscathed during the opening stages of the battle.

Battlestar Gun Crews Combat Exercise

Day Three

Chosen: C) Target Primary Weapons



In one devastating salvo, all broadside batteries unleash the full might of the colonial Battlestar. The gun batteries of the Raven have spoken. For seconds, the flanks of the Basestar are wreathed in flames, kinetic shells impacting against its armored hull, setting the inner sides of its massive hull asunder. Four heavy guns of the Cylon are ripped away, shrapnel and debris stitching across armor plate. Seconds later, the Basestar responds in kind.

As the officers brace for impact in the CIC, the pilots watch from outside the armored titan. Their war is just about to begin, a huge force assembling in the shadow of the capital ships. 

Fire erupts in an incandescent storm of projectiles and exploding shells all around the basestar slowly turning. Its defensive batteries spit death against the viper squadrons, forcing them away from the raider's approach. In the cover of flak fields, the large Cylon formations charge forward, breaking out to engage the colonial warriors of the Raven. Blue shimmering sparks follow in their wake, the first wave of warheads quickly closing in.



Choice:
VOTE HERE: 
https://www.strawpoll.me/19004650
The capital ships exchange heavy fire, each salvo tearing deeper wounds into their hull. In the meantime, the squadrons need a direction in battle.

A. Engage Raider Swarms
The colonial warriors can engage the incoming raider swarm head-on. The Cylons have superior numbers but cannot hope to match the skill of the Raven's finest. Engaging the Raiders will relief the ship's defenses at the risk of casualties in the fight.

B. Draw Back 
The Vipers can draw back to let the Raven engage her flak cannons without restraint. Her defenses will be able to take the brunt of the attack. However, it will be risky for the Vipers to re-engage afterward without leaving an opening for the raiders to strike directly at the Battlestar.

C. Intercept Warheads
The Pilots can push for a daring maneuver, passing over the incoming raider swarm and coming around to hit the incoming missile salvo directly. This will leave them in a vulnerable position, but they could box the Raiders in between themselves and the Raven's defenses, potentially obliterating the Raiders completely.

The Trireme's guns also open up with A blanket of munitions between the cylon warheads and the Raven.....

Battlestar Gun Crews Combat Exercise

Four

Chosen: C) Intercept Warheads



In a daring maneuver, the colonial warriors pull their vipers up at the very last moment, burning hard to evade the oncoming raiders. Several of the Cylon force break formation to give chase, but not quickly enough to escape the Raven's point defenses. From her hangar pods and down her spine, the Battlestar fires battery detachments of secondary guns, creating a barrier of explosions of fire, turning raiders into scrap metal within seconds.

The vipers escape the killing zone just in time and turn to dive down and intercept incoming missiles. Dozens of conventional warheads were launched from the basestar in front of them and among them a handful of nuclear warheads. Moving in at high speed, the first squadron of Battlestar Raven opens fire. One after another, the warheads explode in ineffective detonations.

The Raven's opening salvos have eliminated much of the Basestar's primary weaponry, and the first wave of missiles was successfully intercepted. Its raiders won't survive long, trapped between the Raven and her Squadrons.

But the fight will not be so easy. As soon as the vipers charge forward to meet the second wave, Cylon defensive batteries open fire on the colonial warriors. The massive hulk of the basestar turns slowly as if to present to the colonials its full majesty. The calls of the pilots can be heard in the CIC. They will need a supportive fire soon.

Choice:
VOTE HERE 
www.strawpoll.me/19009470
The Basestar turns away its heavily damaged side from the firefight, presenting the Raven with new armor that has so far been left unscathed. Before long, the second wave of raiders and missiles will be inbound, and the gun crews have to worry about their batteries overheating.
Battlestar Raven won't be able to maintain this pressure forever. It must achieve a decisive strike soon.



A. Support the Vipers

To support the Vipers, some of the Raven's KEW Batteries can switch to anti-aircraft ammunition while the rest targets the basestar's defensive batteries. This would not only wipe out the raiders but create an opening for the Vipers in their advantageous position. 

B. Target the Missile Tubes

Focusing fire on the Basestar's missile tubes would leave the Vipers to deal with the remaining raiders alone. However, it would limit the threat of missile strikes in the future, allowing the Vipers to regroup and prepare for another attack. 

C. Turn the ship around

Just like the Basestar, the Raven could maneuver to present a fresh side to the enemy. This would negate the risk of overheating her currently firing batteries and limit the chance of critical hull breaches due to damages on the armor. However, turning the ship around won't allow for a target lock on any of the Basestar's sub-systems.

D. Prepare a nuclear strike
With nuclear warheads being an extremely limited resource, it would be best to destroy the Basestar with conventional weapons. Should the Raven's command want to have the option for a last-minute nuclear strike as a reassurance, however, the preparations to use nuclear force must begin now.

No worries, Gunstar Trireme! While this scenario only features the Raven and a single Basestar, future battles will certainly involve the Gunstars of the fleet! 

Cdr. Keith "Leonidas" Ranson said:

The Trireme's guns also open up with A blanket of munitions between the cylon warheads and the Raven.....

Battlestar Gun Crews Combat Exercise

Day Four

Chosen: A) Support the Vipers

After their prolonged bombardment of the mothership, the Raven's mighty weapons turn against the force of oncoming raiders. As soon as the Cylons calculating minds grasp the situation, their ships, and metal forms are torn to pieces by a barrage of concentrated fire.

Flak shells detonate in a curtain along the entire length of the massive Battlestar, sending shrapnel in every direction and directly through formations of the enemy. Some raiders are hit directly, exploding in balls of white fire and leaving nothing behind. Many more are peppered with tiny punctures and damages. Those few who escape the wrath of the Raven's firestorm are easily picked off by Vipers coming from the other side. With no route to escape, the Raiders charge ahead in a suicide run and are taken out without any casualties among the pilots of the fleet.

In a formidable display of combined firepower, the colonials crushed the first onslaught of the Cylon war machines. Whilst the raiders were turned into scrap metal, the Raven's dorsal gun detachments took out some of the defensive batteries aboard the basestar. When there was ever a time to strike, it is now.

Choice:
VOTE HERE: https://www.strawpoll.me/19013536

Taking out the first raider wave completely brought the Raven's starboard flak batteries to the brink of overheating. Part of the vipers will stay behind to not leave the ship defenseless. For the rest of the valiant squadron, however, this action has created a crucial opening in the Basestar's defenses.

The Vipers will be able to perform one attack run against the Basestar. Getting up-close and personal with the enemy capital ship, they can take out a specific target with greater accuracy than the Raven's main batteries. This target should be chosen wisely.

A. Target the sensors

Taking out the bulbous sensor domes all over basestar's hull requires a viper strike of utmost precision. But if this succeeds, it will leave the Cylon's virtually blind, rendering their remaining weaponry useless.

B. Target the FTL

When the tide of the battle turns, the Cylons will likely make a run for it and jump away. The Vipers could take out the FTL drive pre-emptively, ensuring the Raven won't miss out on her kill at the last second.

C. Go for their shiny, metal ass

Conventional solutions are all well and good, but the CAG sees an even better opening: The Raven's initial salvo tore a large hole into the basestar's primary hangar deck.

The Vipers could go all in, trying to fly into that opening and delivering their explosive payload directly into the heart of the Cylon vessel. This will be risky – but if this succeeds, the basestar will be done for.

The outcome of this action will be decided by a coin-toss. There is a 50/50 chance the Raven's Vipers would succeed to take out the Basestar.

Battlestar Gun Crews Combat Exercise

Day Four

Chosen: B) Target the FTL drive

Like silver arrows, the Vipers shoot down and in-between the Basestar's mighty hulls. Where two saucers of the warship meet, long struts of armored conductors lead from the reactors to the FTL drive. Only a well-placed shot can take advantage of the weak-point buried behind the beams and sheets of armor. Luckily, the best marksmen of the fleet are moving in. 

Damaged batteries turn to fire, but the defenses of the Basestar are gone by this point. Swarms of raiders prepare already for the second wave, but they'll meet the Vipers just a second too late. Before the intercepting raiders can hit, the vipers lose their payload, just a fraction of a second away from their target.

Red plumes explode where the missiles hit, tiny spots of light on the massive vessel. At first, there seems to be no visible reaction, but deep inside the vessel, sensitive machinery studders. 

The pilots do not wait for long, turning their vipers around and making a run for the safety of the Raven's batteries. With the raiders hard on their heels, the squadrons cross the no-man's-land between the vessels, littered with debris and the wreckage of the first wave. Like a hailstorm, the particles patter against their hulls. When the noise dies down, it's the signal that they've made it. 

In the Raven's CIC, the officers report massive energy fluctuations aboard the Cylon ship, clear indications of the jump-drives failing. The Battlestar prepares already to call her vipers home. This battle won't go on for long. 

With the second raider wave all but ready to engage, the Raven maneuvers one last time to bring her primary batteries into position.

Choice:

VOTE HERE: www.strawpoll.me/19017920

The Basestar is heavily damaged and ripe for the taking, but it's too early to celebrate victory just yet. The ship must be destroyed in a decisive blow. Otherwise, the raider swarms will overwhelm the Raven eventually. 

There remains only one question: Where to hit with the final blow?

A. Target the reactor

The attack run of the Vipers left the Basestar's internal systems with a volatile overcharge. A well-placed hit against one of the reactor-clusters could cause a catastrophic chain reaction. 

B. Target the damaged hangar

Half ripped-open and torn, the damaged hangar reveals Basestar's vulnerable innards. A full salvo into the interior structure could obliterate various inner systems, damaging the vessel to the point of destruction. 

C. Target the command center

Softened up by the salvos exchanged so far and staggered by the viper attack, the Cylon vessel is vulnerable enough to risk shooting for its brain. Taking out the command node will leave the basestar dead in space.

Battlestar Gun Crews Combat Exercise

Day Seven

One last time, the Raven’s guns spit fire and thunder, a single salvo from all batteries focused on a single point near the center of the Cylon ship.
Armor plates around the impact are beaten into a blackened tear in the outer surface, the sheen of metal becoming scorched and dull. Where there had once stood intricate clusters of machinery and radiating cooling towers, there is nothing left but twisted metal, once the clouds of debris and frozen particles clear.
The baseship shudders, as though it had been hit right at the heart. Its massive form, imposing still in its sheer mass and power, slips from the control of its mechanical creators. Along the rim, the remaining engines stutter uncontrollably, plasma flames stabbing out into the void without any purpose. Some weapons fire into the blue, others fall silent or their turreted batteries turn in a display of system-wide malfunctions. All over the burning vessel, tiny lights flicker and die.


Deep inside the massive hulk, the core of the machine is dying. The hit reactor cluster was already on the verge of overheating, damaged by energy surges from the broken FTL drive tormenting the system. With the coolant systems gone and no control, the temperatures rise in the reaction chamber.
Thylium, the refined reserves aboard the massive ship, still feeds into the reactor, a fine line of highly volatile matter leading from the burning reactor right into the storage cells.

Twenty-five seconds after the initial hit, the basestars’ hopeless emergency systems fail. With interior compartments crumbling, bulkheads melting and massive internal systems failures, the ships send out one last message to all raiders: An order to flee, to attack until the last.
Then the reactor overloads.
The Thylium chamber of its inner core is atomized instantly, sending out waves of atomic fire into every chamber of the ship. Seconds later, the primary Tylium reserves aboard the ship go up in flames, casting the exploding vessel in an orange hue.
Initial detonations hollow out the mighty ship, leaving its two saucers as dead forms, drifting apart. The hulls writhe and shudder under the impacts of larger chunks of debris, and under the sudden thrusts of secondary explosions.
Much of the second wave of raiders is caught in the blast, consumed in the fountains of fire sent out by the death of their mothership. The rest are aimless, tumbling, without any central node of command.

Battlestar Raven remains victorious, its duty done, surrounded by bursts of fire where the viper squadrons take out the last of the surviving raiders. All along its hull, the batteries of its main guns cool down, and debris clears. Soon, it will be time for the pilots to come home.

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