Something big

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CetaMan
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Re: Something big

Post by CetaMan » 2018-03-14 10:41pm

Yeah, Maelstrom. The interesting animal of a twin-tower 2.20-klick sleek battlecruiser design used by the republic as dedicated command/flagships.

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Esquire
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Re: Something big

Post by Esquire » 2018-03-15 12:56am

I've always wondered about battlecruisers as 'dedicated' flagships. A battlecruiser is, historically, a cruiser with a battleship's armament. Surely fleet command ought to ride around on basically the exact opposite (defencecruiser?) kind of hull, or else on a standard heavy warship, of which there is at least one more in the formation?
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Re: Something big

Post by Sea Skimmer » 2018-03-15 11:54am

In many situations you do not want the commander on a capital ship, because you want to commit all capital ships to close action at which point the commander becomes far more likely to be killed or simply absorbed into the battle with poor visibility and communications and unable to exercise command. In the age of sail putting an admiral on a frigate wasn't a practical choice but did happen from time to time, but in WW1 and particularly WW2 Admirals in command being on cruisers was commonplace for this set of reasons. It let them freely move around without absorbing a vital unit, but still had enough space to accommodate a staff and enough radio equipment. Operation Overlord for example was commanded off USS Augusta and HMS Scylla, heavy and light cruisers respectively, with the ground forces having an additional pair of transport based command ships. Even though no less then seven battleships were available for the operation and five took part on the first day.

In space warfare you could make arguments six different ways.
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CetaMan
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Re: Something big

Post by CetaMan » 2018-03-15 07:33pm

Arguably yes, but in a more sensor-orientated setting perhaps its best to be on the ship with the most survivability, since sensors and jamming is going to determine what info is available rather then location.

Its Star Wars, sticking the commanding officer on the biggest ship seems to happen a lot. Though we do see instanced where they go on another ship, Like Thrawn using smaller vessels when ISD's were available, or some clone wars episodes where an Arquitens was the command ship and not a Venator.

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Re: Something big

Post by Crossroads Inc. » 2018-03-15 07:51pm

For me... One of the best examples of commanding spaceships was in LOTGH.
The "Command ships" in that series were often not the biggest or best, but ships that either "Just" had a commander on them, or ones fitted out as more a support role.

The 'Hyperion' was an old ship and considered out of date, but Yang Wenli like the ship and used it as a command ship for coordinating his fleets.
The 'Brunhild' was a new ship of the line, but a dedicated support ship. It had enhanced shields and advanced communications network, but was never meant as a "front line battleship"

The "trope" of a commandeering being on the "Biggest and Best" ship is something that comes from many sci-fi shows and books that has its roots I think in part to the notion that the "Leader" should be getting the "Best" ship out there. Also, to a lesser extent is the notion of the "Hero" ship, the 'Yamatos, the Enterprises, the ships that fight with the strength of a hundred and can turn the tide of a battle or a war! Except... Things don't work that way of course, in real life, a great big ship, is a great big target.
The real Yamato had little to no effect on the war and was hunted from almost the moment it launched specifically because it was such a big ship.
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Re: Something big

Post by fractalsponge1 » 2018-03-15 08:07pm

As has been said, there are many ways to slice this for space combat - I'd argue a higher level commander would be best served far away and disengaged, but formation leaders should have their flags on front-line ships.

If we're going back to terrestrial setups, destroyer flotilla leaders used to be cruisers, because at first the flag needed endurance and handiness to scout for their (very small and barely seaworthy) private ships. Later when destroyers became much more capable the fleet destroyer commanders were also had cruiser flags, because that officer needed firepower to resolve some situations personally and form a rallying point for the other ships in his command.

In SW terms, I'd say someone like an oversector commander would be best served far away, maybe even on a planet and communicating via holonet to component commanders, but anyone actually commanding a fleet or squadron meant to engage as a unit might as well have a big front-line vessel to command from. Incredible jamming makes tactical control from a distance dicey at that point. If the squadron is unbalanced, like a star dreadnought and a handful of escorts, the commander will want to have direct control of the majority of the firepower anyway, rather than potentially being driven off on a small ship while his major unit(s) is left to its own devices.

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