Major victory in Standoff?

A.Non

Captain
I believe the general consensus is that the middle or minor victory ending in Standoff reflects the situation at the end of the novel on which it was parly based and, by extension, the official continuity of the Wing Commander series.

So I've been thinking of possible scenarios for a follow up to the "best" ending.
The final cutscene in this ending suggests an almost immediate counter attack with the forces available, namely:

TCS Concordia (Confed Class Dreadnought) (1)
TCS Saratoga (Concordia Class Fleet Carrier)
TCS Ark Royal (Concordia Class Fleet Carrier) (2)
TCS Leyte Gulf (Jutland Class Attack Carrier)

& last but not least

TCS Firekka ( Wake Class Escort Carrier)
+ escorts
(3)

(1) Hailing the Concordia at the end of the final mission on the major winning path suggests that she did not sustain any damage in this version of the Battle of Earth and is therefore still useful as a fleet carrier (no botched refit either).
(2) According to Fleet Action Ark Royal was used as decoy during the battle of Earth and subsequently lost, whereas in the final cut mission she is present with the main body of the fleet.
(3) Given the absence of the Lexington in the final fleet lineup in the last mission it can be assumed she incurred similar damage as in the official continuity.

Since the confed fleet is only two carriers up from the official version of events I personally think that "Next Year on Kilrah" is a tad optimistic, considering that in less than a year later in OTL the Kilrathi had a completely modernised fleet with mindblowingly huge 2 hulled dreadnoughts.

Given the fact that Kilrathi fleet at the Battle of Earth outnumbered Tolwyn's taskforce by at least 5 to 1 and still failed to destroy a woefully underprepared Earth, I seriously doubt Confed would even try to attack Kilrah at this juncture.

I therefore see to possibilites based on the following scenario.
Confed is clearly winning the war but does not yet have the sufficient numbers for the Big Push. With this in mind less attention is paid to the wonder weapons. The T Bomb is probably shelved and Behemoth recieves less priority.

The virtual annihilation of the fleet has serious political repercussions. Thrakhath is executed for cowardice and incompetence. This creates a succession crisis with the Emperor's remaining grandchildren fighting for recognition as
Heir-Presumptive. The constant scheming and infighting undermines the Empires ability to effectively prosecute the war.

And so after roughly a year (say for the sake of argument the approximate starting date for the events of WCIII)

Either

The other clans eventually decide that enough is enough and depose/assasinate the Emperor and install a new ruler from another clan.

Or

Things don't go as smoothly as planned and the Emperor's removal causes a civil war.

Your thoughts?
 

Quarto

Unknown Enemy
A few notes from the people who brought you Standoff... ;)

I believe the general consensus is that the middle or minor victory ending in Standoff reflects the situation at the end of the novel on which it was parly based and, by extension, the official continuity of the Wing Commander series.
That's not just the general consensus - that's very much the intention on our part, as well.

The final cutscene in this ending suggests an almost immediate counter attack with the forces available...
Of course, while it's possible this is indeed what happened, you have to bear in mind, Reismann is not in command of the fleet. When he says he'd go for Kilrah, that's one very aggressive commodore talking - it's not the official stance of the entire fleet.

Also, bear in mind that the cutscenes really tell you very little about the Confed fleet. Our intention was to show the general state of the Confed fleet and get across the point that the winning ending involved fewer losses - but these scenes were never intended to be an accurate portrayal of the fleet. We know more or less how many carriers Confed has - but we have no idea how many escort capships are out there, for example. Given that so many of the escorts (e.g., the Waterloos and Exeters on Confed's side, the Fralthi, Fralthra, Ralatha and others on the Kilrathi side) carry fighters, it's hard to say what the real situation is.

(1) Hailing the Concordia at the end of the final mission on the major winning path suggests that she did not sustain any damage in this version of the Battle of Earth and is therefore still useful as a fleet carrier (no botched refit either).
Hehe, but that's regardless of whether you got the winning or middle ending ;). Truth is, we simply forgot to "damage" the Concordia.

(2) According to Fleet Action Ark Royal was used as decoy during the battle of Earth and subsequently lost, whereas in the final cut mission she is present with the main body of the fleet.
Well, first, a technicality - the book never states the Ark Royal was destroyed. We know three of five carriers (Concordia, Ark Royal, Saratoga, Lexington, Leyte Gulf) at Sol were destroyed. We also know the Concordia survived and the Lexington was lost. For the remaining three (Ark Royal, Saratoga and Leyte Gulf), all we know is that two were lost, and one survived.

That said, you can indeed save a third carrier - the Saratoga. The Ark Royal will always be there at the end of the game (in other words, we made the assumption that the Ark Royal is the second surviving carrier from the book), but the Saratoga's presence depends on whether it survived the game.

(3) Given the absence of the Lexington in the final fleet lineup in the last mission it can be assumed she incurred similar damage as in the official continuity.
Yep, that's made pretty clear in an earlier mission, when you pick up the surviving fighters from the Lexington ;).

Since the confed fleet is only two carriers up from the official version of events I personally think that "Next Year on Kilrah" is a tad optimistic, considering that in less than a year later in OTL the Kilrathi had a completely modernised fleet with mindblowingly huge 2 hulled dreadnoughts.
Is this really a valid point, though? A year later, according to the WC3 manual, Confed has a bunch of new ships as well. But all these ships may or may not be there a year later. The presence of one extra Confed carrier at the start of 2669 could potentially result in the absence of all those extra Kilrathi ships at the end of 2669 - remember the Tarawa's raid?

Given the fact that Kilrathi fleet at the Battle of Earth outnumbered Tolwyn's taskforce by at least 5 to 1 and still failed to destroy a woefully underprepared Earth, I seriously doubt Confed would even try to attack Kilrah at this juncture.
...Probably. But remember, the damage inflicted on the Kilrathi fleet in the winning ending can be significantly greater than in the book. In the book, the supercarrier Tarvakh retreated with two older carriers for escort, while Thrakhath escaped from Sol with one supercarrier and one older carrier - so, he has two Hakagas and three older carriers. In the game, the player can destroy the Tarvakh and at the two older carriers that had escorted it away in the book. So, Thrakhath can wind up with one damaged Hakaga and one older carrier. That's a difference of 5 surviving Kilrathi carriers on the middle path versus 2 on the winning path. Thus, on the winning path, Confed apparently winds up with numerical superiority in carriers (yes, damaged ones - but the Kilrathi carriers are damaged too).

With this in mind less attention is paid to the wonder weapons. The T Bomb is probably shelved and Behemoth recieves less priority.
I don't think this is at all probable. Both projects were very much long-term, and had been around through not just the tough times, but the good times, too. They weren't last-ditch attempts to win the war, they were something that had been planned for years. There's no reason to believe they'd be cancelled now.
 

Zelvik

Rear Admiral
With this in mind less attention is paid to the wonder weapons. The T Bomb is probably shelved and Behemoth recieves less priority.

The more likely outcome would probably have been that the Behemoth would have had the time to be completed and been the vessel it should have been. With Behemoth finished and deployed to the frontlines it would have been an even graver danger to the Kilrathi than it had been in the OTL. Wheter it would have been able to reach Kilrah and destroy it is a different question but maybe if desperate enough Confed might have tried a "Battle of Earth" reverse attack that would have forced the Kilrathi to defend their homesystems putting them on the defensive. But that would probably be a very dangerous one hit kill or die strategy.
 

Dundradal

Frog Blast the Vent Core!
Tolwyn mentions (in FC I believe...) that he wanted to follow up the victory at Sol with an immediate counter-attack on the retreating Kilrathi, however the civilian government was unwilling to take such drastic action.
 

Lorien

Rear Admiral
Tolwyn mentions (in FC I believe...) that he wanted to follow up the victory at Sol with an immediate counter-attack on the retreating Kilrathi, however the civilian government was unwilling to take such drastic action.

Doesn't the WC3 novel indicate that Confed wasted their counter-attack window?
 

A.Non

Captain
Ok I've had a look at some of the comments and I've decided to continue this timeline.
I'll post, read suggestions and then have another post to advance the storyline etc.

Bradshaw & Co do get their couple of days of R & R while the senior officers in the fleet take stock of the situation and reorganise the fleet.

We'll assume that the Concordia took some damage while firing the PTC and requires a refit.
Vice-Admiral (following this major victory) Tolwyn shifts his flag to the Ark Royal for the counter offensive and her fighter compliment is used to serve the immediate combat needs of the remains of the Fleet.

The counter-attack is comparitively small in scale, since it is designed to keep the Kilrathi on edge until the new fleet units come online and certain projects can be completed. The attack nonetheless disrupts enemy infrastruture etc meaning that the Kilrathi fleet cannot attack Confed territory with the same ease as in WC III.

Now we fastforward to 2669.203 and ask the question "Where are they now?"

Major William Bradshaw is serving as the Firekka's Wing Commander.
Captains James "Trigger" Walker and Robert "Saxman" Collins command the fighter and bomber squadrons respectively, while Captain Benoit "Pospsicle" LaHaye is the wing XO.
Captain Charles Graham now commands the Firekka
(I thought that a piddly little CVE under the command of a Commodore with no attendent ships an air group commanded by a Flight Lieutenant was a bit much, I know its based on arrangements in the books but even so).

Major Theodore "Cougar" Murphy is Wing XO on an Eagle Class light carrier
Major Marie "Sparrow" LaBlanc commands a fighter squadron on a Lexington class carrier with
Captain Jason "Squealer" Beverly" as one of her flight commanders.

Rear-Admiral Hans Reismann commands a Fleet Carrier Group and is as feared and loathed by his own crew as much as the enemy due to his demanding and unorthadox command style (This is nothing, now at the Battle of Earth ...).

Colonel Christopher Blair, having recovered from wounds sustained at Earth, has resumed his post of Concordia's Wing Commander, having only just completed an extensive and much needed refit.

Admiral Geoffrey Tolwyn has been promoted to Chief of the Naval Staff and is even now planning a major offensive with the new and improved fleet, speaking of which ...

The Hellcat Fighter and and Yorktown class CVLs were respectively introduced and retained by necessity resulting from the devestation inflicted by OTL's Battle of Earth.

This is partly for practical and dramatic reasons but ... The Rapier is taken in hand for modernisation (It had better guns and speed than the WCIII hellcat besides which, I think the SWC/Arena Rapier is the closest thing Confed had to an Iconic fighter, the Kilrathi got the Drathi afterall).

Half the remaining Yorktowns are sold to Landreich (mainly with a view to Landreich serving as a Buffer state while Confed prepares in peace). Half the remaining ships are reactivated as training carriers, while the others are used rear echolon ships for commerce protection duties.

Similarly the bewildering plethora of guns in WC III is simplified now that Confed is no longer under such pressure to rush equipment into service.
The Photon Cannon is further refined to be more efficient and essentially replaces the Laser.
E.g. The Rapier Mk III has 2 Photon Cannons & 2 Particle Cannons)

The Reaper Cannon was a more effective and efficient weapon than the Ion gun but it can be assumed that it was not more widely used on cost grounds. As a halfway house I propose that TTL's Ion Gun is similar to OTL's Chain Ion gun.

The Particle Cannon was supposedly an evolution of the Neutron gun, and due the above considerations, the Neutron gun is binned.
Meson Gun, never really understood the point. Binned.

Mass driver, iconic WC gun, kept and modernised. Range and damage as WCII standar, less energy consumption.
Particle Cannon, kept as is.
Tachyon cannon, reperesented the pinnacle of fighter gun technology at the time, kept as is.
Plasma Gun. Short range, inefficient, less damage than Tachyon. But with a little more attention to detail, could result in a brutal short range killer.

Thunderbolt: Why? Slower than the Sabre, only mounted 1 Torp? Sabre modernised, armament standardised to carry 2 torps at all times. Supplied in Bulk to cruisers & escort carriers.
 

Mancubus

Rear Admiral
OK. so here's my try.

The counteroffensive is short-lived, however it manges to further damage Thrakatht's fleet. The combined Confed-Landreich raid delays the introduction of Bakthara-class carriers, giving Confed the upper hand in the war.

Thrakath, desperate, "activates" his sleeper agent, Hobbes. However he is caught, and subsequently executed , before he can leak any info abut new confed superweapons

The Concordia, witch sufferd much less damage is pulled out of the frontlines and repaired. Blair recovers just in the right moment to return as her wing commander. She survives the war

Angel is still sent to Kilrath and killed during covert mission

Due to the better odds, Confed is reluctant to authorize a raid on the Kilrathi prison planet to free Dr Severin. The work on T-Bomb gets stuck.

The War continues well past the moment it ended in WC3 timeline.

Around 4 months after the events of WC3 The Behemoth enters service. she is not, however a big gun with small crew qutrers attached we saw in WC3, she is fully finished Dreadnaught, built around a planet - cracking cannon.

With the large battlegroup build around two fleet carriers, one of them being the Concordia, The Behemoth enters Kilrath system and destroys Planet Kilrath. Thrakath is killed in combat with Blair, and his drednaught is haevyly damged by Concordia's PTC and subsequently destroyed by her bombers. Melek Survives and surrenders to Tolwyn. The war ends.

Tolwyn is now a hero, the man who won the war. He is promoted to space Mrshall and made commander in chief of all Confed military. Despite his actions, though, the civilian government cuts the military funding and starts mothballing the fleet. during the next three years, Tolwyn starts the Black Lance operations.

Paladdin, in the meantime retired. withought T-Bomb succes, he couldn't develop his political career, and became only a n ordinary and not-that-well-known senator.

IN 2673 Black lance starts actions meant to start a war between Border Worlds and Confed. Blair, recalled from retirement defects to BW. He collects evidence that it is Tolwyn, who manipulates both Sides However, due to bad circumstances he is never given the chance to speak to the Senate. His Carrier, th BWS Intrepid, is lost with all hands on board in Ella while rushing to Earth,and also he himsefl manges to escape in the jump-capable fighter and land on Earth. He is never given a chance to testify by the speaker of the chamber, despite protests from senator Taggart. He is Executed, and the war is declared. Soon Dozens of Confed planets are hit by Gene-selective Bioweapons. Trillions of people die.

In two years, Tolwyns machinations are finally uncovered, and he is sentenced to death and commits suicide in his cell. However, by this time, Confederation Economy is devastated, and all efforts are directed into helping the Survivors from the worlds hit by Tolwyns Bio-Bombs.

6 years later, in 2681, The nephilim stike fleet quickly pushes towards sol. Confed is still licking wounds after Border-Worlds war and Tolwyns Bio-Holocaust (as it is now called), and is unable to retaliate in time. 2nd Lt Lance Casey dies heroically aboard a new Vesuvius-Class Carrier, The TCS Midway. In less Then a month, The Confederatin is completely overrun, and Earth falls under Alien Control. Remnants of Confed Armed forces join The Landreich, and keep fighting, but even with the Kilrathi help they have no hope of victory againts numericaly superior Bugs.


So, how do You like it ??
 

A.Non

Captain
Good ideas Mancubus, I agree that with Confed being less desperate ideas of attacking Kilrah directly with 4 fighters would be shelved. The war therefore lasts longer.

However I'm less certain about what happens post war so I'll address the political developments & so on in a later update.

The disaster (for the Kilrathi) in Sol and the subsequent (if limited) counter attack causes serious political backlash against the ruling dynasty. Thrakhath is therefore executed for cowardice to placate the other nobles etc. While this grants some political stability and therefore improved focus on the war effort, the Emperor now has a serious problem as there is no clear successor.

During the counter attack several worlds including Alcor are seized, albeit with significant loss of life for the Confed ground forces (this affects the development of doctrine and strategy).

The T-Bomb is developed as Cap-Ship missile to work in tandem with the new Behemoth class monitors.

The Behemoth is also a very different beast from the original timeline. With more time to refine the design and concurrent development with the T-Bomb some serious though is given to the vessel's role and potential capabilities. As well as improved shielding and defensive armament, the main gun is modified for extra versatility creating a vessel analogous to a
WW1 Monitor, that is a vessel designed mainly for precise planetary bombardment.

The gun is reduced in power to suit this new role and to facilitate the construction of a class of these vessels rather than just one ship and has two firing modes, difuse and focussed. The difuse mode fires a pulse of energy which expands on impact giving causing damage over a wide area, adding the added functionality of being able to attack formations of enemy vessels. The focussed mode I believe we are more familiar with, although with the reduced power the beam acts as a drill which effectively creates a new faultline in a planet's crust in to which a TCM (Temblor Cruise Missile) can be fired.

Anyway enough on technology, on with the war. Knowing that many worlds on the outer border are effectively lost for now and the forseeable future, and that a major Confed offensive with a larger more powerful fleet is imminent the Emperor adopts a strategy of defence in depth. Most of the remains of the Kilrathi fleets redeploy to heavily fortified strongpoints in the inner worlds of the Empire.

The disaster (for the Kilrathi) in Sol and the subsequent (if limited) counter attack causes serious political backlash against the ruling dynasty. Thrakhath is therefore executed for cowardice to placate the other nobles etc. While this grants some political stability and therefore improved focus on the war effort, the Emperor now has a serious problem as there is no clear successor.

This commits Confed forces to planetary assault, particularly supplying the troops, leading to increased emphasis on commerce raiding, as well as allowing time to muster sufficient concentration of assets to destroy Confed forces in detail. The first and most notorious example of this is when the TCS Lexington (The newer one, the old one is broken up in this timeline) is destroyed along with her entire battlegroup in the Ghoran system as she is attacked by no less than three modern Kilrathi fleet carriers plus attendant escorts. Among the fatalities are the task force’s Wing Commander, Colonel Jeanette “Angel” Devereaux and Lexington’s Captain, William Eisen.

While these attacks are temporarily successful in halting the Confed offensive, a counter attack is out of the question due increasingly bothersome attacks from a much expanded Landreich military. However these tactics serve only to encourage Confed to concentrate her forces rather than attacking on a broad front, effectively nullifying the Kilrathi ability to obtain local superiority. The introduction of the Behemoth and a relatively easy way of destroying orbital and ground based defences makes planetary assaults much less bloody and time consuming, giving new momentum to the offensive. The deployment of the
T-Missile one of the world on one the main Kilrah jump routes further damages Kilrathi morale.

Rather than advancing on multiple axes and attack Kilrah thought multiple jump routes as was the original plan, the Confed strategy is revised to two main thrusts, one involving a fleet including the Behemoth oprerating out of Freya dn the other involving a fleet led from the Concordia from Tyr, with the two forces linking up in T’lan Meth attacking Kilrah via H’rissith.

The final campaigns of the war are also their bloodiest as the Confed fleet pushes into the heart of Kilrathi territory. It is at this point the double hulled dreadnoughts are launched (for the sake of this TL they are 3.8 Km long as in the game, not 38 as in the books, either way they are a nasty proposion), spearheading a Kilrathi counter offensive in the early months of 2670 which the Emperor himself is leading under mounting political pressure.

However the Emperor’s critical error is to divide his forces and attack Landreich in a grand flanking move in expectation of a subsequent campaign. This offensive quickly bogs down as Landreich and a Confed contingent adopt the same elastic defence strategy the Kilrathi were using up until this point.

The Confed Grand Fleet meets this counter offensive head on, thwarting the Emperor’s attempt at preventing the rendezvous in T’Lan Meth. The Emperor himself is killed as his flagship is destroyed at H’Rissith, although the huge casualties the Grand Fleet incurred prevents an immediate push to Kilrah, although the former means that the latter is ultimately proven to be unnecessary as the Kilrathi Empire is plunged into civil war …
 

ChrisReid

Super Soaker Collector / Administrator
The final campaigns of the war are also their bloodiest as the Confed fleet pushes into the heart of Kilrathi territory. It is at this point the double hulled dreadnoughts are launched (for the sake of this TL they are 3.8 Km long as in the game, not 38 as in the books, either way they are a nasty proposion), spearheading a Kilrathi counter offensive in the early months of 2670 which the Emperor himself is leading under mounting political pressure.

The game and books all refer to the Hvar'kanns as being 22 kilometers. There's really nothing that says they're 2.2 - it's just people saying "Hmm, that must be a typo because it's too big." Hover the incredibly huge 22 figure is a major part of False Colors, and when 1 km long Bhantkharas sit alongside the ship in WC3 cutscenes, it's easy to see that it's nowhere near the scale of twice that size (they're visibly a dozen times as large, or more).
 

Mancubus

Rear Admiral
The game and books all refer to the Hvar'kanns as being 22 kilometers. There's really nothing that says they're 2.2 - it's just people saying "Hmm, that must be a typo because it's too big." Hover the incredibly huge 22 figure is a major part of False Colors, and when 1 km long Bhantkharas sit alongside the ship in WC3 cutscenes, it's easy to see that it's nowhere near the scale of twice that size (they're visibly a dozen times as large, or more).

...And then we have the loosing ending when we see Victory ramming the Hver'kann, so there is no question of perspective. Also, Dreaughnot is not severely damaged by this attack, While if it would be only 2.2 km it would have been completely destroyed after being rammed by the ship only 3-times smaller
 

RogueBanshee

Rear Admiral
This commits Confed forces to planetary assault, particularly supplying the troops, leading to increased emphasis on commerce raiding, as well as allowing time to muster sufficient concentration of assets to destroy Confed forces in detail. The first and most notorious example of this is when the TCS Lexington (The newer one, the old one is broken up in this timeline) is destroyed along with her entire battlegroup in the Ghoran system as she is attacked by no less than three modern Kilrathi fleet carriers plus attendant escorts. Among the fatalities are the task force’s Wing Commander, Colonel Jeanette “Angel” Devereaux and Lexington’s Captain, William Eisen.


[/QUOTE]

Ok correct me if I'm wrong but the reason that most of the Kilrathi fleet carriers were left in reserve during the post Armistice attack was because the Kilrathi were running critically low on trained pilots so where are the pilots for these carriers coming from?
 

A.Non

Captain
I think it's safe to assume that the Kilrathi adopt some kind of meatgrinder policy with its pilots, going for quantity over quality, after all that's how all evil empires fight right?:D
 

RogueBanshee

Rear Admiral
Yeah but still going from being able to stand against worse then 3 to 1 odds of the Kilrathi elites in the post armistice campagin to falling to 3 to 1 odds of the leftovers seems odd given that Lexington actually had superior fighters to the ones we saw in use at Sirius and Terra.
 

CT25

Captain
I just got Standoff downloaded and completed. Great game.

Could someone please tell me how I can tell the difference between the minor victory ending and the "best" ending? I want to be sure of which one I got.

I think I got the best ending, but I'm not sure. Through the campaign I did save the Verdun and Saratoga and I destroyed the Tarvak (sp?) and its Snakier escort in that one mission (I heard those are the major requirements to get the best ending). But Earth in the ending cinematic (in the ending I got) still had 'spots' on it so it got hit somewhat I presume.

I heard some here say in the best ending Reismann says next year in Kilrah. He didn't directly say that onscreen in the one I got, but Bradshaw said Reismann said they would try to counterattack.

Hope someone can help, thanks.
 

Wedge009

Rogue Leader
I can't recall the precise differences, but I think they're mostly in the final video cutscene. From what I remember, the 'regular' ending is that you merely manage to rout the Kilrathi - the Flight History entry will read "A Long Way to Kilrah". In the 'best' ending, you also rout the Kilrathi, but Reismann and the pilots will talk about the possibility of a counter-attack on Kilrah. The Flight History entry is titled "Next Year in Kilrah!"
 

Quarto

Unknown Enemy
Yeah... the differences are pretty subtle, really. Looking back, maybe even too subtle - but then again, that was the point. The player is not a great enough hero to make a world of difference all by himself.

In both endings, Earth does take a hit. That's one thing the player couldn't prevent - on the winning path, you never have the opportunity to go after the cruisers that attack Earth. And on the losing path... oooh, you can imagine the kind of criticism we'd get if we let players get a more positive ending on the losing path than the winning path ;). Heh, maybe we should've done that, could've been fun to see... but seriously, on the losing path, you only arrive in time to take out the second wave of missiles - just like in Fleet Action.
 

CT25

Captain
Thanks for replying guys. I checked the Flight History section and the epilogue read "Next Year In Kilrah" so I presume I got the best ending. (It was tough saving the Saratoga I'll admit). ;)

Now I have to go back and lose on purpose in certain spots to see the "okay" and "losing" parts right? :D
 

CT25

Captain
Also, in projecting what happens afterwards in the 'best' timeline, a number here have said Thrakath gets executed for incompetence and/or cowardice. That could probably happen especially if he gets shot down by Bradshaw and ejects on the final mission right?

It would have been interesting to see what would have happened after that if Baron Jukaga had survived.
 
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