Minor Inconsistency

Sarty

Rear Admiral
I have been racking my brain for quite some time on this and still can't come up with anything solid so I'm going to post it for you guys to debate: The Battle of Earth took place during the year 2668. During that time Confed's fighters consisted of Sabres, Rapiers, Broadswords and the like. When Blair is transferred to the Victory, it is 2669, and there is no trace of these fighters, even on and old ship like the Victory. Suddenly it seems as though the Thunderbolt, Hellcat, Arrow, and Longbow have been Confed's mainstream fighters for several years. Blair even describes the Thunderbolt as a "steady, reliable old fighter." When were the Sabres and other ships of its time retired? Someone please clear this up for me. Thank you.
 

ChrisReid

Super Soaker Collector / Administrator
Most of the ships on the Victory are indeed old designs fitting an old carrier. The Thunderbolts are actually about the newest design she has. At any given point in the Wing Commander universe there are far more than four or five fighters in service, and in any given game we fly just a sampling of Confed's inventory.

You should go back and check out LOAF's Ships of the Animated series daily feature from a couple months back. Most of the ships you're looking at are detailed at an early point https://www.wcnews.com/news/search?title=animated
 
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Quarto

Unknown Enemy
Strictly speaking, all the WC3 ships for which we know the designations (F-86 Hellcat, FA-76 Longbow, HF-66... hey, what's with the sixes?) are newer than any of the WC2 ships for which we know the designation (F-44 Rapier, F-54 Epee, F-57 Sabre). The thing to consider here is that fighters are not something that gets replaced immediately - when you have hundreds of Sabres onboard your carriers, you won't be able to switch to Thunderbolts overnight, even if you wanted to.

Continuing with the Sabre/Thud comparison, it's worth noting that the Thunderbolt is clearly the inferior of the two - it is characterised by lower manoeuvrability, lower speed, lower armour (once you adjust the Thunderbolt's shields/armour to take into account the fact that if it had been around for a while, it must have started with WC2-level shield/armour stats). The only thing it has better is the guns, but even those are offset by a smaller missile compliment. So, it's possible that the Thunderbolt was designed specifically as a B-grade fighter for escort carriers - we see two instances of that in WCP.

(of course, this ignores a few things: namely, the fact that the Thunderbolt's low speed/manoeuvrablity may well be a consequence of the new armour plating... but we can only guess about such things)
 

Death

gh0d (Administrator)
Um, Quarto? The T-bolt's introduction date is early 2669. It (and later in the game the Excalibur) is a new design. There is no "adjusting" to be done, as there isn't an older model to adjust from.
 

Quarto

Unknown Enemy
Apparently, some would disagree, Death :p.

Sarty said:
Blair even describes the Thunderbolt as a "steady, reliable old fighter."

(although, it's been years since I've read the WC3 novel, so I'm not entirely sure if the Blair description that Sarty quotes isn't by any chance from WC4, not WC3 - all I remember is that the two books had somewhat differing positions in regards to the Thud)
 

Deadeye79

Commodore
the sampling refrence is the best explimation. I'm sure some of the poorer govts would still be using scimitars in fact the books say this is true. You use up what you got and replace it with better things as you can. It wouldnt be a suprise if there would have been sabres in the inventory of the Victory ((Note I am not saying there is)) but just that such a wide variety of ship classes would be in service at the same time
 

Iceman16

Vice Admiral
IIRC, the the admiral that got killed in the terrorist attack on earth by the kilrathi in 2668 (Banbridge I think his name is) ordered increased research and development of new fighters and technologies which resulted in so many new types of fighters and bombers (Thud, Arrow, Excal etc) and upgraded older ships (Longbow, Hellcat V, etc) just before he died.
 

ChrisReid

Super Soaker Collector / Administrator
Not exactly, no.. the ships do slide though. The autoslide in WC3 is slightly based off a manual slide maneuver that was practiced in the earlier WC games.
 

Atekimogus

Spaceman
One logic explanation would be that after the battle of earth fighter losses were so heavy that they either build completly new fighters, or were putting old ones back to service or a combination of both, the build new fighters with designs that were already near to mass production and put back into service classes of older fighter for which they hadnt something new.
 

Mace

Vice Admiral
it's possible in reality, given a non-existent gravity.

somehow i think the laws of physics in WCa would just let the ship slow down to zero if you pulled the "manual slide"
 

Sarty

Rear Admiral
I noticed that with the exception of the Strakha and Bloodfang, which were both redesigned in story, it is the same with the Kilrathi. Vaktoths, Darkets, Sorthaks, and Paktahns were never mentioned before. Maybe Origin simply thought it was time for something new considering the incredible upgrade in graphics from WC2 to WC3?
 

Nomad Terror

Rear Admiral
Mace said:
it's possible in reality, given a non-existent gravity.

Has more to do with a lack of drag than a lack of gravity, although I could see a gravity well being detrimental to an autoslide.
 

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
IIRC, the the admiral that got killed in the terrorist attack on earth by the kilrathi in 2668 (Banbridge I think his name is) ordered increased research and development of new fighters and technologies which resulted in so many new types of fighters and bombers (Thud, Arrow, Excal etc) and upgraded older ships (Longbow, Hellcat V, etc) just before he died.

I don't think that's from any sort of legitimate source -- it reeks of small universe syndrome. Why would the commander of a battle fleet have anything to do with budgeting research and development?

Strictly speaking, all the WC3 ships for which we know the designations (F-86 Hellcat, FA-76 Longbow, HF-66... hey, what's with the sixes?) are newer than any of the WC2 ships for which we know the designation (F-44 Rapier, F-54 Epee, F-57 Sabre). The thing to consider here is that fighters are not something that gets replaced immediately - when you have hundreds of Sabres onboard your carriers, you won't be able to switch to Thunderbolts overnight, even if you wanted to.

I guess it's time to address the elephant in the room: fighter designations aren't too telling -- consider that we see all of the fighters you just referenced (aside from the Thunderbolt) *before* the point in the timeline where we specifically know the Rapier II enters service.

I believe 'real life' has similar problems with a timeline=designations sort of scheme -- projects are assigned numbers and then delayed for years... or they just wind up with crazy designations for insane government reasons (SR-71, F-117, etc.).

(Can anyone confirm the F-86 designation for the Hellcat V? I know I've repeated it in the past...)

I believe the late-2668 service entry for the Thunderbolt comes from the Authorized Guide to Wing Commander III. (I seem to recall going back and noting that the reference wasn't as tight as I'd once thought -- but I also know the point has come up before and that upon review nothing in the novels really contradicts it.)
 

Nob Akimoto

Rear Admiral
There was a line about Terran fighter design being superior to the Kilrathi prior to the armistice by Tolwyn during the briefing in his country house, wasn't there? Something about the "New-line Broadswords and Sabre-D's" giving an advantage to Confed in terms of bomber capabilities?

Not entirely sure how the designations actually work out in WC, the tri-service reorganization in the US Armed Forces was primarily the reason for odd designations like F-111's and F-117's.

Could it be the difference between a F series designation being used purely by the Space Force, while others which share command structures with the TCN have a separate designator? On the other hand it might be that there was something where fighters were redesignated from various pre-organization designations hence a huge jump in numbers? (Doesn't really explain the odd "HF-xx" designator used by the T-bolt. OTOH the 60's designation makes more sense from the stand-point of it being a modern fighter compared to something like the Sabre)

Another thing about jumping numbers, a lot of them might have been used to codify captured designs. For example the F-11x designations prior to tri-service reorganization was utilized by the USAF to refer to captured Soviet fighters.
 

Quarto

Unknown Enemy
Bandit LOAF said:
I guess it's time to address the elephant in the room: fighter designations aren't too telling -- consider that we see all of the fighters you just referenced (aside from the Thunderbolt) *before* the point in the timeline where we specifically know the Rapier II enters service.
Yeah, it's something of a pain. The question is, which one has the crazy designation, though? The Confed Handbook, IMO, would allow us to argue that it's the Rapier II that got the crazy designation for whatever reason.
(based on the fact that the author of the Confed Handbook made the Rapier CF-117, and the Scimitar CF-105 - so, the numeric difference (12) between the Scim's CF designation and the Rapier I's CF designation is exactly the same as between the Scim's F-32 designation and the Rapier II's F-44 designation. So, if we assume that the CF-105 and the F-32 are the same fighter which has simply received a new designation, this seems to suggest the possibility that the Rapier II has been given the exact same designation as the Rapier I would have had under the new system, for whatever reason.

Mind you, there's another question that is probably worth attending here - can we really assume that WCA cameos are indications of service? We know that at least one of the WCA cameos (the Epee) is specifically noted by another source as coming into service after the Vega campaign, so in fact the WCA cameo must have been another fighter that happened to resemble the Epee. Of course, it's a lot harder to argue this for the Longbow, Hellcat or the Sabre, given the lack of service entry dates for them.

I believe the late-2668 service entry for the Thunderbolt comes from the Authorized Guide to Wing Commander III. (I seem to recall going back and noting that the reference wasn't as tight as I'd once thought -- but I also know the point has come up before and that upon review nothing in the novels really contradicts it.)
I looked at the WC3 novel yesterday. It does not indeed contradict this. It did imply (but did not say so outright) that Blair flew all four WC3 fighters before his assignment to the Victory, and given that this was his first assignment after BoT, this would mean that the Thunderbolt would have been around around prior to BoT... that can pretty much mean late-2668, and it does mean it was in service at the same time as the Sabre (which was one of my points).
 

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
Yeah, it's something of a pain. The question is, which one has the crazy designation, though? The Confed Handbook, IMO, would allow us to argue that it's the Rapier II that got the crazy designation for whatever reason.
(based on the fact that the author of the Confed Handbook made the Rapier CF-117, and the Scimitar CF-105 - so, the numeric difference (12) between the Scim's CF designation and the Rapier I's CF designation is exactly the same as between the Scim's F-32 designation and the Rapier II's F-44 designation. So, if we assume that the CF-105 and the F-32 are the same fighter which has simply received a new designation, this seems to suggest the possibility that the Rapier II has been given the exact same designation as the Rapier I would have had under the new system, for whatever reason.

I'm pretty sure the 'CF' designations are supposed to imply the existence of a 'renumbering' akin to what occured in the US military in the sixties/seventies. Both the Rapier and the Scimitar are said to be more than a hundred years old. (I would also caution against the F-32 designation. It's attractive because it seems to be 'new' knowledge for a group of people starved for such things... but it *hasn't* been printed anywhere, and it *has* been contradicted by a published source.)

Mind you, there's another question that is probably worth attending here - can we really assume that WCA cameos are indications of service? We know that at least one of the WCA cameos (the Epee) is specifically noted by another source as coming into service after the Vega campaign, so in fact the WCA cameo must have been another fighter that happened to resemble the Epee. Of course, it's a lot harder to argue this for the Longbow, Hellcat or the Sabre, given the lack of service entry dates for them.

Well, I'd love not to. The idea that the Hellcat is really a Wildcat is another instance of an attractive piece of completely unofficial information. Until something clears the ships up, though, we have to go with what seems to be the designers intentions. (Do you know what I mean? We can't make up an explanation just because *we* want the system to work differently -- there has to be a legitimate conflict before we bring our logic into play...)

I looked at the WC3 novel yesterday. It does not indeed contradict this. It did imply (but did not say so outright) that Blair flew all four WC3 fighters before his assignment to the Victory, and given that this was his first assignment after BoT, this would mean that the Thunderbolt would have been around around prior to BoT... that can pretty much mean late-2668, and it does mean it was in service at the same time as the Sabre (which was one of my points).

Based on the 'six month' reference from the Authorized Guide, the Thunderbolt would have entered service just before the Battle of Earth.
 

Quarto

Unknown Enemy
Bandit LOAF said:
Well, I'd love not to. The idea that the Hellcat is really a Wildcat is another instance of an attractive piece of completely unofficial information. Until something clears the ships up, though, we have to go with what seems to be the designers intentions. (Do you know what I mean? We can't make up an explanation just because *we* want the system to work differently -- there has to be a legitimate conflict before we bring our logic into play...)
Yep, I understand and agree. There isn't any point inventing new 'fanon' just for the heck of it. The reason, however, why I like to discuss possible explanations for this kind of thing is because I have a specific interest in knowing what people around here consider most acceptable in the absence of more detailed canon explanation - sometimes, when working on mods like Standoff, we simply have to go beyond the canon information, and when we do that, we obviously need to ensure that the stuff we make up is more or less reasonable ;).
 

Fruitcake

Spaceman
I find it too bad that Wing Commander III fighters contain no references to old Wing Commander II and I fighters. They should've imported one Wing Commander II fighter. Like the Kilrathi Dralthi IV makes a comeback, it would've been fun to fly the Sabre in WC3.
 
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