3D Space RTS fan. Searching for life outside the homeworld :)
Posted by AmDDRed on Jun 28th, 2012
Quite old article translation (sorry for bad english and mistakes), where I was trying to analyze fleets of Homeworld - more about taiidani fleet, how it has influenced known ones. Original is found here: Homeworld.su.
Something similar was written here, just about little armies: Moddb.com
So, let's begin with Homeworld triumphants.
In the first game kushan and taiidan fleets were actually the same. Yes, it can be explained by developer's lazyness and lack of time to make really different race, but even this thing can be taken as a part of game universe logic.
A we remember, in the game's beginning kharaki space fleet concisted of collecter, scout, research ship and drag-n-puller "salvette", thus meaning that kharakian had only one fighter class battle ship. Yeah, there are plans for scout chassis development, thus getting the interceptor; research for making smth at the size of "salvette" using it's chassis; and the research ship as an example of smth similar to the frigate class.
What helps kharaki engineering to make the leap jump? - Salvage of the empire's frigate. Immediately we can build resource controller - noncombatant ship. It seems, that taiidani frigate tech made capital ship production available.
After that frigates were done like sausages - support, assault... Bentusi has given ion tech - and here comes the ion frigate... Of course, kushani could not buy it, as turanic ion array frigates would give enough information for research - another question how good it would be, and would there be any good of it as in the next combat kushani will capture high quality taiidani ion frigates... Any way, the talk is not about the ion cannon technologies but about the taiidani being tactical and strategical inspiration for kushani fleet.
Yes, kushani had two ships that taiidani hasn't: stealth fighter and drone frigate (btw, both technologies have found it's place in somtaaw fleet). But why? First of all, both tech give us a sign of kushani exile number: about 3k mothership crew plus 600k Sleepers against 137 taiidani star systems (billions and billions). Stealth tech tells us about hiddden recoinassance, and drone frigate - about AI-tech development for human casulties and resourse minimisation. As counter-tactics, taiidani have defense tech: Defense Field Generator Frigate and Defense Fighter - kushani even didn't get it to research. Both ships tells us about massive battles, big fleet strategy, not the kushani partisanish one.
But still kushani had to copy both tactics and strategy (with very little difference) of the taiidani fleet, as they were copying there ships. And while taiidani enemies were strong enough (I mean first years of the Hiigara Landfall), and kushani had enough funds to keep big fleet, they kept on holding to the taiidani art of war...
So, the revolution broke out. Empire has fallen. A lot of worlds decided that their path is not the taiidani one, and not all shared ideals of Taiidani Republic. Thus Empire divided to Republic, based by revolutioners-separatists, and Loyalist Worlds, still hoping for revival, who was led by dictators or huntas.
Republicans got some tech from Bentusi. Many consider that because of this Republic's new fleet should be renovated and became more technically advanced, but Loyalist - otherwise, remain unchanged since Empire fall.
It would be true, if number of Republic worlds is less or equal to Loyalist one. Then republicans would seek, like somtaaw, new ways, non-standard decisions for victory achievment... But in this case - Empire heritage has left in the hands of the Republicans. Personally I doubt, that military centers would be located in the star systems which loyalty could be doubted - like those who didn't wanted to consider themselves as taiidani.
Second, if we take HW2 fleet, then we can see, that tech in general has remained the same: railguns, ions, plasma, missiles... I think, the same thing has happend as to the machines of WW2: they had been improved in armour, caliber, engine, but from outside it remained the same, was named the same and served same purposes.
You say, "how can you compare 4 years and 115 years (from Empire fall to Makaan's rise)? But the same infantry with spears or swords was used for centuries, until rifles changed the picture of the battle. Airplane's piston engine would still be used if not reactive ones. But what can you change in space? No aerodynamics, no landscape, and no rule-changing tech at least till HW2. More then that: vaygrs didn't use ion tech, but hiigarians has taken taiidani DFGF - the result seems to be something in between of Somtaaw force field and taiidani thing.
So, we can say that the Republic has remained with the same empire fleet (of course, with little replaces - like salvette being pure kharaki thing). And that's good, as Empire fleet was the most powerful: if we take a look at Homeworld War, then we can understand that taiidani fleet was fighting against the same "taiidani" fleet, so it could not bring any strategy change thus changing ship roles/ adding new ones; it could bring only new tactics to fleet manuals.
Completely another thing is about Loyalists. They had been left in minority, with completely other producing capabilities. If frigate can be built from carriers and space stations, then super-capital ships requiers some big factory. Even full population mobilisation could not help to make enough super-capital for full squadrons. And how much years could they treat their people without danger for their authority and economics?
Yes, HW:C shows us that at least 15 years Loyalist were able to use empire structure fleet. But the same HW:C shows us the crysis of loyalist militarism: the are forced to ally turanic raiders and even Beast, as they feel that the end of them is near...
Besides that, not only production capabilities are bigger for Republic, but also research ones. As was mentioned before, republicans would have their ships more superior along the same visual look. If so, then loyalists having a problem: they always will be second in that race.
So, taking in consideration beforementioned, loyalists has silensed after the Beast War: like Georgia's example showing us, not every economics can handle heavy military expences. Also, if we compare loyalist to the Ukraine, and Russia to Republic, then Russian can remake guts of MiG-31 to the level of 4++ and create T-90 tank, as T-72 evolution; then Ukraine can only have what she have in case of MiG plane, and T-80 can be be upgraded with more features.
What am I pointing at? Loyalists, as Somtaaw kiith, were forced to move to ship modular production system. This allows ship to get upgraded of needed circumstances, to use "local" technologies, and overall get cheaper production. And of course, it changed the battle strategy, distancing from classical Empire fleet structure, and, by the status, loyalist fraction got more and more closer to the turanics: to pirates and pirate kingdoms. As we know, Tobari were taiidans as well...
Vaygr. Look, it seems to be the force that can smash Republican fleet. But it seems only from the first sight. Was Makaan's victory something "natural" or was it only because of some jokers in his arm? Let's see what of consists his fleet.
First, despite the fact the vaygr mostly rely on strike craft, they have uberwaffe - super-capital ship, cruiser with "trinity" cannon and load of heavy missiles. What can it tell about their fleet?
If we recall pirate fractions, like kadeshi or turanic raiders, then we can find some similarities with vaygr: these also relied on strike craft with anticapital ship support of frigates and carrier-cruisers.
Of this we can get two consequences:
First, most of vaygr world did not needed big efforts to conquer them, as did not have enough forces against strike craft;
Second, it seems, that Makaan has started his career as a pirate/raider or miner, alike Somtaaw, even something both of these roles: this guess may be witnessed by the fact that vaygr wasn't very much known race in the galaxy.
Of this comes conclusion that his fleet strategy relied on strike craft, as it was better known to him, and he had no option to build bigger craft. Of this comes absence of ion frigates, as this is weapon of advanced galactic core empires, not some dawgs from the outer rim. ...But he has big non-similar to anything cruiser... About this later.
So, Makaan comes to the big world. He is misleaded, he counts himself as a prophet and Messiah. And his goal is to collect all three Great Cores. But this is not so easily done: one Core is at the Bentusi, other - hiigarian one. Both are defended by Galactic Council, which main force is Taiidani Republic with it's victorious fleet. Which in it's defeat has proven it's power (I mean kushan and rebel over empire).
What Makaan should do? Search for the allies. And then he half-conquers, half-joins (after demonstrations of his force - "you will join or die"(c) - ideological reason) Loyalist forces and other half-pirates, thus enlarging the number of his Armada and advancing it. Quite short stop at Loyalists allowed vaygr to make technological leap (like vaygr tech tree is very similar to HW1 one), and to become more taiidani alike.
But have this changed something? No, as the Loyalist fleet structure was half-pirate, the same as vaygr one, Makaan did not included it to the basic strategy as deeper modernisation would make Armada slower, more uncontrollable because of different tech used, untested, expensive and that would requier strategy rethink. That's why Makaan getting more squadrons, moves forward.
Only problem on his way are the giant outposts and hyper-inhibitors defenders, that blocks the path to the Taiidan Homeworld. Lessons of kushan, which silently destroyed hyper-inhibitor, were taught well...
Here Makaan would need some craft that would destroy with high efficiency non-moving objects, like Nomad Moon etc. And Makaan gets one - the "Humpback" battlecruiser with his Trinity Cannon main weapon as something very unique to the overall missile madness of vaygr (of course it had missiles but for selfdefence of capital ships like frigates). It even is buildable separately of all. But was this cruiser the reason why taiidani failed?.. I don't think so.
Makaan had a Joker: the Great Hyper-Core, which allowed him to make super-long jumps, and taiidani strategist where not ready for this. To catch Makaan, republican would need to split their fleet to parts, and that would be the suicide. All taiidani key worlds were known to him - it wasn't useless to join with loyalists, with their spies, relations and simple knowledge where are hided most valued things in Republic.
And thus, Republic wasn't able to answer to this move: check & mate. As the result, divided from inside (low moral, "Makaan is the Messiah!", "To Hiigara!" etc) and outside, Republic has given up. I guess, there was also some Taiidan homeworld defense and terror with ADW before that...
Immediately Vaygr has taken course to Hiigara, to get it on knees also. But hiigarians weren't dumb enough to simply sit and watch enemy's coming: they've studied this enemy for a long time already, and they did understand what are the advantages of Great Core - hiigarians have used it twice already for the same purposes. And the did know that if Makaan wins he turns to them, as he claimed himself as the "uniter of the cores"...
...And Hiigara starts preparations for upcoming war:
a) elite fleets are sent to allies, like Sobani ones;
b) new ship is required for being capable of large fleet maintaining - and that's the Pride of Hiigara (we must remember, that hiigarians had no time to project and build completely new ship - and that's why old Mama-ship project, as a proven itself, had been taken and upgraded a little);
c) new fleet paradigm is taken (we even know when this was discussed, by admirals Paktu & Riif-Sa, for the first time: date from HW1 - Kharaki year 1302 - Hiigara year 86, 29 years till Vaygr Invasion).
This new fleet is quite alike vaygr one. Of course, we for sure can say that it's been influenced by it, but that can be simply threat lowering - now not taiidani were major problem to them, but raiders. But anyway, it can be compared, with little "national" differencies:
First, the basis of hiigarian fleet were frigates;
Second, carrier was more universal;
Third, unlike vaygr, hiigarians were anti-strikecraft concerned;
Forth, hiigarian battlecruiser was thought as mobile target threat not unmoving like vaygr one.
And we can see that hiigarian new fleet mixes vaygr mobility and solidness of Republic's fleet.
Also, the same as we've taken look at vaygr fleet, we can take a look how correlates taiidani and hiigarian fleets: hiigarians have more frigate then everyone else, and that means that since Beast War their main enemies were pirates and half-pirates, that didn't need big crafts for it's defeat. But the taiidani fleet hold even two destroyers, which means that they are ready to kill even bigger guys. Like Bentusi, for example. And if not being so jumpy, Makaan would have a looot of troubles...
...But we've missed two important moments in taiidani history: kadeshi and the Beast.
Let's start from kadeshi. Analyzing kushani Nebula breakthrough, we can notice two cicumstances giving undeniable advantage to exiles. First of all, they theGreatCore, allowing overjump, unlike other craft; second, mothership allowed to respond flexibly to changing conditions.
Taiidani recoinassance squadrons, sent to Nebula, had no such possibities. First, they could not move with giant hyper-leaps: most possibly, kushans has overjumped main patrol zone of kadeshi, and they have met a little of ships.
Second, taiidans would not be able to engineer and construct immediately new antifighter corvette or frigate. Third, taiidans would not be able to calibrate their sensors to find hyperspace blocking ship. As a result, taiidani squadron, even it wins first battles, would give up to kadeshi themselves...
Does it means, that kadeshi is force that can smash taiidani fleet? Of course, not. Kadeshi just knew how to use these circustance for their good. Outside, no one had knowledge of what awaits in the Nebula. And fear has big eyes. No one could tell, what ships is using enemy and what tactics is good against him: "no one returns...".
The same problem was about the Beast: new, unknown before, strategy of the enemy. But as soon as Somtaaw comrades have invented vacination againt the Beast, everything got back to it's places. And old tradition and trustworthy fleet of taiidani went forward victoriously...