Tactical Analyses

Advantages in action

Advantage of home ground:

While on Sparta, half the crew of the Hippocrates went to guard a caravan on its way around Blackwinter Mountain. There was a group of bandits that were preying upon local merchants from their camp in the hills. They were able to use their knowledge of the area to their advantage.

There were three trails from the upper parts of the mountain down to the main road. The bandits knew that the trail closest to Blackwinter didn't provide them with good cover. The second trail was a perfect site for an ambush, if you knew exactly when your target would be at the base. And the third trail was adequate, but not spectacular.

The bandits attempted to use their knowledge of these trails to their tactical advantage. Two of them pretended to be travellers in distress not far from the trail closest to Blackwinter. Once the caravan came by and helped them out (or even just passed them by), they'd be able to alert the bandits as to what time to expect the caravan to pass the ideal ambush site. If they were unable to get precise timing information, the bandits would fall back to the third trail, where they would still have a decent chance of successfully ambushing the caravan.

Fortunately, their plan was thwarted because we figured out that the "travellers in distress" were really part of the bandits, and made them come with the caravan, so that they couldn't alert the rest of the group. We were then expecting to encounter the bandits by the third trail, and were on the lookout for them, so were able to force their hand by attacking them first.

Advantage of numbers:

I spent some time on Crux watching police training exercises. They used various techniques for dealing with issues like how to overpower a single suspect when multiple officers were present. When the suspect was armed only with melee weapons, flanking manuevers were used to ensure that the suspect was surrounded and could not escape. The officers then coordinated the timing of their attacks so as to minimize the suspect's ability to fend off multiple blows at once. In the ideal case, three or four officers were able to immobilize or render unconscious the suspect, with minimal damage inflicted on the officers. Stun batons were used by the officers to ensure that the encounter was non-lethal.

The situation was similar when the suspect was armed with a ranged weapon. In this case, however, the officers attempted to use more stealth when getting into position, in order to minimze police casualties. In one hostage scenario, the police would identify a defensible position, place armored officers there, and allow the focus of the single enemy combatant to be drawn towards them. Their reinforcements would then flank the combatant and on a prearranged signal storm the combatant's position. The attack from multiple sides put the target off guard, and he was unable to respond effectively. He was overwhelmed and fell to the police stunners.

Advantage of technology:

When encountering a horde of gith on Rupert's Hole, the crew of the Hippocrates was able to use superior technology to defeat a numerically superior force. The gith are aggressive badger-like animals that come in various sizes. The smallest size might be equivalent to a small dog, whereas the largest were like wolves. Their sharp teeth and claws could allow them to do significant damage to their victims, and the fact that they traveled in packs made them a dangerous enemy (although this was somewhat lessened by the fact that they came in waves, rather than swarming all at once).

The crew was able to use their superior weaponry to help kill the forty(?) gith that were menacing Camara Peaks while taking minimal damage. They did this in a couple of ways. First, Ace and Max used their blasters at long range to pick off some of the gith. Maury and I were up on my scooter, out of the fray, and were similarly using our long-range weapons (blaster and blaster rifle) on the gith without presenting ourselves as further targets. Jayla took advantage of our radio system to help coordinate the battle. Janzur used his plasma brand to help kill the gith, while his high-tech armor was effective in deflecting the majority of the gith attacks. Finally, Hippocrates itself was overhead nearby, ready to drop medical supplies into the area should our own supplies get used up. All of these things combined to ensure a substantial victory over the gith, who were unable to cope with the range and level of force that our technology helped achieve.

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