Which Ships Saw the Most Action in the War?

Discussion in 'General Wing Commander Chat' started by DangerousCook, Nov 15, 2016.

  1. DangerousCook

    DangerousCook Rear Admiral

    Messages:
    138
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    22,035
    Location:
    Northern California
    This is a bit of an old-school discussion topic.

    Which ships (preferably Confederation fighters, but Kilrathi fighters, capships, etc. are more than welcome too) do you think saw the most action during the war (2634-2669)? Which ones were produced the most, and which stayed in production/remained in service the longest?

    Answering this question requires us to refer back to the games, various bits of literature, Academy TV show, etc. It also requires a degree of speculation and perhaps even some baseless assumptions!

    For instance, my (relatively safe) guess is that variations of the Broadsword bomber remained in service longer and in higher numbers than any other Confederation bomber. I'm basing this on its appearances in multiple books, WC2, Privateer, the Academy show, the movie, etc.
     
  2. capi3101

    capi3101 Rear Admiral

    Messages:
    2,210
    Likes Received:
    177
    Trophy Points:
    26,985
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Norman, OK, USA
    Well, canonically the CF-105 Scimitar was in service for more than 140 years, and the first Dralthis came on-line about twenty years prior to that. And the first Fralthis came online around 2504 - about the same time Akwende drive technology was first developed in the Terran spheres of influence. The Arrow is probably fairly close in terms of overall length of service as well, though I'd be hard-pressed to provide a canonical precedent (probably the craft's appearance in the Academy cartoon is the best I could do).

    The one that always got me was Eisen saying he was communications officer on Victory's maiden voyage. Assuming the Yorktown-class came before the Concordia-class first seen in Action Stations, and that he's fifty (give or take) during WC3, he would've had to have been...what, eight years old at the time? Probably a bit young for the service, but desperate times and all that....
     
  3. DangerousCook

    DangerousCook Rear Admiral

    Messages:
    138
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    22,035
    Location:
    Northern California
    Thanks for your reply!

    Do you happen to know if those early Dralthi were the Mk. 1 variants (from WC1 I believe), the ones depicted in the movie, or something else entirely?

    While we have some of the exact years that fighters came into production, I'm also wondering about how often they were utilized in combat and how well they performed.

    So for instance, speculation along the lines of this: "The Scimitar had robust armor stats compared to other ships of its time. It also possessed no jump drive and no overly sophisticated/high-maintenance pieces of tech. This leads us to believe that Scimitars were likely mass produced (or were already in surplus) due to higher survival rates and lower maintenance costs. They also presumably saw a ton of action because they could perform several different types of missions and were atmosphere capable."

    While it might be a bit of a stretch, I'm guessing Eisen could be in his 60s during WC3 and therefore his late teens or early twenties during the maiden voyage?
     
  4. capi3101

    capi3101 Rear Admiral

    Messages:
    2,210
    Likes Received:
    177
    Trophy Points:
    26,985
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Norman, OK, USA
    I believe the Dralthis being referenced were the ones from the movie - p. 28 in Star*Soldier indicates the original KF-100 Dralthi "entered service in 2521", while the Dralthi-I (the WC1 Dralthi) were rolled out in 2645.

    I see the Scimitar kinda like the A-10 - a plane that everybody in the military derides except for the guys who fly them, and a design that just refuses to die.

    In the WC3 shooting script (Scene 5, A1FDKEI, INT FLIGHT DECK - EISEN), the stage directions state: A PORTION OF THE CARRIER'S CREW HAS ASSEMBLED IN RANKS TO WELCOME HIM ABOARD. BLAIR APPROACHES CAPTAIN WILLIAM EISEH, AN AFRICAN-AMERICAN IN HIS 50'S WHO HAS DEVOTED HIS LIFE TO THIS OLD TUB AND ITS CREW. I suppose that could be late-50s. If Victory was one of the last Yorktowns to come on-line, and if she was put in service in..say.....2632 (a couple of years before the war began) and was therefore a 37-year old tub during the events of WC3, Eisen could've been 22 at the time of Victory's maiden voyage, and 59 during the events of WC3. I'm willing to roll with that.
     
  5. DangerousCook

    DangerousCook Rear Admiral

    Messages:
    138
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    22,035
    Location:
    Northern California
    Awesome, appreciate the clarifications.

    That's a really cool comparison for the Scimitar. I like that a lot!

    Looking forward to hearing everyone else's two cents as well.
     
  6. Bandit LOAF

    Bandit LOAF Long Live the Confederation!

    Messages:
    28,824
    Likes Received:
    560
    Trophy Points:
    69,485
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Ashton, MD, USA
    Now, now, you know what they say about people who assume...

    ... they're technically correct! :) We can, indeed, prove that the Yorktown-class is older than the Concordia-class. Action Stations tells us that the lead ship of the Concordia class was fairly new, built as a result of government appropriations in 2629 (and given the time it takes to construct a carrier in Fleet Action, that likely means it's brand new in 2634.) The Heart of the Tiger novelization says that the Victory's class was "designed nearly half a century before the beginning of the Kilrathi War," dating the Yorktown to the mid-2580s. The problem is that tells us only that the /design/ is older, not the Victory herself. After all, Eisen wasn't the communications officer on the TCS Yorktown... the Victory was presumably constructed much later (perhaps, for instance, when there was a desperate need for quickly-produced capital ships in the early days of the war!)

    I believe a careful read of Eisen's history can narrow that down. And thinking this through, I believe I have a new theory. First of all, you are right if aiming at the low end of the scale: the character description in the Wing Commander III script does claim that he is "IN HIS FIFTIES." And while it's never an absolute indicator, Jason Bernard was 56 when he appeared in the game. Wing Commander III is set in 2669, which would suggest his birthday being somewhere between 2610 (59) and 2619 (50.)

    Wing Commander IV (four years later, 2673) then claims that "I fought with Captain Dominguez [of the Intrepid] 40 years ago during the Venice Offensive." That would seem to put whatever the Venice Offensive (a confused WC1 reference, a retroactive battle of the Pilgrim War?) is in 2633 and suggests that he's on the older side of the scale. If he was at least 18 years old when he served in whatever this battle was then he would have been born between 2610 and 2615, making him between 54 and 59 in Wing Commander III.

    The Wing Commander IV novelization throws a bit of a wrench into this. It reads: "[Captain Dominguez] was two classes ahead of me at the Academy. We served together during the Venice Offensive. That was three decades ago." In the past we've taken this as a bit of a retcon (swapping the 30 and the 40)... but instead I'm going to argue now that the 'three decades ago' refers to when he was at the Academy (two classes behind Raoul Dominguez) and not a contradiction in when the Venice Offensive took place.

    Which seems a little bit strange at first, but actually makes a whole lot of sense. Recall his reference in Wing Commander III: he wasn't shaving when he first took the helm. If he'd attended the Academy out of high school and gone through the four-to-five year program then he'd certainly have been shaving by the time he graduated and started serving on warships... but if he enlisted to fight the Pilgrims or the Kilrathi, he could have been on the front lines as a teenager.

    The rest of the story writes itself: on or around 2943 he attends the Academy and becomes an officer. That also speaks to why despite being an academy graduate he lacks the political correctness of a career officer (and remember how he feels about "these Academy hotshots.") Then bringing it all back home to the Victory, another novel reference helps us a bit! The WC3 novelization adds some specificity to Eisen's conversation about his posting: "I was communications officer on Victory's maiden voyage, my first assignment out of the Academy..."

    So I will propose that the Victory entered service later than we'd previously thought, in the late 2640s.



    Star*Soldier gives us early 2650s for the Arrow's introduction, too. Probably worth considering that there's a huge difference in terms of technological advancement in wartime. You jump from biplanes to early jets in a few years during World War II, versus aircraft designs that remain largely unchained for decades and decades today. (Actually the Scimitar is probably most notable in that it's the rare design that we know the Confederation actually /stopped/ using at a particular point. Though they were still serving with militia units will after that...)

    It might actually be the reverse... almost all of the characters (yeah, yeah, Knight) who actually fly it do seem to genuinely hate the Scimitar. (It is interesting that it's treated as high tech on Wing Commander Academy, despite being at most only a few months before Wing Commander I... I get what they were going for, but wish they'd set the show earlier to make it work.)

    I do agree with the OP that it's probably the Broadsword; serves reliably throughout the entire war and beyond.
     
    LeHah likes this.
  7. DangerousCook

    DangerousCook Rear Admiral

    Messages:
    138
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    22,035
    Location:
    Northern California
    Very nice info!

    Any other ships you'd throw into the mix in terms of most prevalent wartime mainstays?
     
  8. Bandit LOAF

    Bandit LOAF Long Live the Confederation!

    Messages:
    28,824
    Likes Received:
    560
    Trophy Points:
    69,485
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Ashton, MD, USA
    I think you knocked it out of the park first try, the Broadsword probably best encapsulates what you're thinking. I think it's mostly hard to know, since we don't have hard data about most of the start and stop dates for ships we see.

    Star*Soldier does say of the Rapier II that "a disproportionate number of the war’s top twenty aces served with Rapier II squadrons," which probably puts it in the running for most emblematic ship.

    There's an odd quote from Voices of War which claims that "the reaper cannon has gunned down more ships than all other weapons combined"... the pool of known reaper-armed ships is certainly small!
     
    LeHah likes this.
  9. AD

    AD Finder of things, Doer of stuff

    Messages:
    5,011
    Likes Received:
    132
    Trophy Points:
    51,885
    Location:
    BC, Canada
    Obviously it wasn't the intent of the line since it's very specifically a line about a very specific weapon in that game, but it's kind of fun to rework the sentence as "the Rapiers' cannons have gunned down more ships than all other weapons combined". Maybe there's some variant from the dark years (WC2's 'ten years later') where Rapiers flew mostly with a loadout that included Reaper cannons.
     
  10. DangerousCook

    DangerousCook Rear Admiral

    Messages:
    138
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    22,035
    Location:
    Northern California
    Good find! Does that quote take into account all variants of the fighter, or do you think it was referring to one of them in particular?

    Also, am I mistaken in thinking the reaper cannon was new technology in 2669? I figure I must be for the Voices of War claim to make the most sense.
     
  11. Bandit LOAF

    Bandit LOAF Long Live the Confederation!

    Messages:
    28,824
    Likes Received:
    560
    Trophy Points:
    69,485
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Ashton, MD, USA
    I suspect it's all variants together.

    You are correct about the Reaper cannon, which is what makes the quote problematic. In fact, the bio for the Reaper in Victory Streak claims it's still a prototype and hasn't entered service yet!
     

Share This Page