It was scary how quick the cats incorporated the new shields onto their cap ships. Suddenly, our missiles weren't enough to cut through their shields any more. Without the shield piercing torpedoes, you had to use wave after wave of missile barrages and strafing runs to try and break down the shielding. That was never fun. So it was pretty lucky we got the torpedoes as fast as we did. The 'Long Lances' came in right before we started jumping like crazy for Goddard.
The 'fish' had a godawful long lock time though, sometimes up to ninety seconds. Those early models required a copilot to facilitate the lock on process, there was less automation. During a run in, a single pilot just couldn't fly the ship, dodge the flak, watch for fighters, and monitor all those black boxes for the torp to 'decode' the shields for a launch.
Some of the replacement [A-14D] Raptors we got after Venice had the stretched canopy with the dummy seat in back, but we didn't have any qualified weapons system officers. So, once Tolywyn took us behind the lines after the dreadnought, we had to make do with what we had. What we had were too many pilots and not enough ships. So we drew straws and the unlucky ones broke out the tech manuals and figured it out. Thank god I didn't draw that detail! Electronic gizwitchery was never my forte. I'm more of a metric crescent wrench type of guy.
Gwen was a natural. She had the right personality to sit there calmly under fire, patiently unraveling a dozen types of quantum jamming and shield entanglement protocols. She always seemed to get us a lock about thirty seconds earlier than the gizmos predicted, and usually, the big kitties went 'boom' as advertised. Then you were free to mix it up with the remaining fighters while your backseater tried to hold onto their lunch. I swear, even later, that there were automated systems that couldn't get a lock as fast as Archer could. And she never lost her lunch, either (believe me, I tried).
Late in the battle, attrition caused us to run low on the torpedo planes. So again, we had to make do. Dedicated fighters like the Rapiers and Hornets didn't have the right structure to carry such a gi-mongous missile, so during Thor's Hammer we kludged them onto the Scimitars. The extra torpedos they carried made all the difference against the Sivar, but the Blue Devils paid an awful price. The techs had to remove the ejection seat to make room for *Gib, so nobody was getting out of those things if they got hit.
From "Me: The Life and Battles of 'Maniac' Marshall."
*Gib: The "Guy in Back"