For an intro chapter to a sci-fi story I'm writing, I want to start with a space battle. Thing is, I want it to feel like there's tactical thought put into what each side does. So I'll set up the parameters, and I'll need potential strategies and tactics that would be employed in this situation.

So here are all the factors I know of:

  • All ships are fully Newtonian, meaning they don't dogfight like Star Wars spacecraft. But rather, they act like how they would in reality. Drifting, arresting momentum, and all that.

  • All ships are equipped with "ionic thrusters" (main source of mobility for ships) and reaction control systems (RCS).

  • Ships are shielded using concentrated magnetic fields. Fighter craft do not use shields as they require too much power to operate.

  • Capital ships use "pulse cannons" which fire compressed bolts of radiation. Fighters are equipped with miniature railguns that fire bolts of plasma. Pilots can choose how much plasma each shot uses, adding more for greater impact.

  • Pulse cannons > missiles/rockets > plasma guns in terms of damage

Ships involved:

Terran Republic (Humans):

  • One carrier, holds twenty fighters. currently docked for refit and repairs, so is not at full capacity. Minimal ship-to-ship weapons, but extensive point defense emplacements.

  • Fifteen interceptor fighters: designed for fighter-to-fighter engagements. Lightweight and responsive. Armed with both plasma guns and dumb-fire rockets.

  • Five bomber fighters: Designed for strikes on larger ships. Fighter escort recommended. Better armor, but slower and less responsive. Two plasma gun turrets, two forward plasma guns, four rocket tubes. Can switch between dumb-fire and homing rockets at will.

  • Five patrol ships: not designed for frontline combat. Minimal shielding and armor, very fast. Only armed with two pulse cannon turrets at the front.

Royal Aserati Empire (Aliens):

  • Three (3) frigates: well armored for its size. Four forward facing pulse cannons, 2 pulse cannon turrets and point-defense turrets.

  • two (2) destroyers: Heavily armed, but slow. Often must choose between firepower and shielding due to power requirements. Average point-defense systems, powerful -ship-to-ship armament.

  • one (1) carrier: Can carry fifty fighters. Extensive point-defense systems and strong ship-to-ship weapons. Heavily shielded.

  • Fifty (50) fighters: extremely light and durable. Designed for swarm tactics. Light armor. only armed with two plasma guns.

  • One (1) superweapon deployment ship: dedicated ship for launching "singularity bomb" superweapon. Vulnerable during firing sequence due to power requirements. Otherwise, heavily shielded and heavily armored. Extensive point-defense grid, but minimal ship-to-ship weapons. This craft is brand new and the humans have no knowledge of its purpose or capabilities.

Scenario: Final battle in a galactic war. The Aserati wish to use the new Singuarity Bomb to destroy the human homeworld and force unconditional surrender. The fleet is sent under slow FTL to avoid detection and catch them by surprise. Most human ships are out fighting on the main front and it would take time for reinforcements to arrive back on earth to assist. The Aserati arrive at the edge of Earth's sphere of influence, closing rapidly. Shortly after their arrival, humans detect their presence and prepare for battle. They send out a transmission to the nearest fleet for assistance.

Desired end result: Reinforcements do not arrive in time and the bomb destroys earth.

Again, I'm looking for what each side would do in an attempt to achieve their goals. What tactics would likely be employed?

closed as primarily opinion-based by Aify, John, Vincent, L.Dutch, Mołot Jul 1 '17 at 6:18

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • Depends on the function of the FTL drive, and the information available to the defenders. Do they know enough to try and kamikaze the superweapon? – o.m. Jul 1 '17 at 4:50
  • 1
    You're quite literally asking us to write different scenarios for your story. The battle could go however you want it to go based on the intelligence of your commanders. VTC'ing as story POB – Aify Jul 1 '17 at 4:53
  • Entering FTL and exiting FTL are clearly visible on sensors. All they know is that a fleet of ships bearing Aserati markings are approaching. As far as they know, the superweapon ship is just a new capital ship. – Alex Russet the Snivy Jul 1 '17 at 4:53
  • Perhaps asking for general tactics would be better... – Alex Russet the Snivy Jul 1 '17 at 4:56
  • You know what? This site isn't for me. Was looking for something more casual, git more formal and regulated. Thanks for putting up with me, though. – Alex Russet the Snivy Jul 1 '17 at 5:02

If I were the Asterati:

I have superior numbers and superior firepower. To complete my objective, all I must do is defend the superweapon for long enough for it to do its deed. I would deploy two frigates to the rear of the superweapon, one above it, and both of the destroyers in front of it. The destroyers would focus primarily on shielding while the frigates would provide defensive firepower.

The carrier would be deployed "below" the superweapon. All fighters would be scrambled to provide an impromptu mobile defense network for the superweapon with the intent to intercept any potential human sorties.

And If I were the human commander I would:

Allow the Asterati to make the first move. After a while, I would realize that they were defending the superweapon. I would the prioritize taking out that ship, with the Carrier as a side-goal. If I can destroy what is obviously the pride of their armada, it'll be a long shot, but perhaps I can force a route in the ensuing confusion. I would send three of my patrol ships to get as close as they can to the super weapon, and in the process they would be destroyed. Except that is what I will be counting on. You see, I will have at least half my wing of fighters, and 3 of my 5 bombers go with the patrol ships, flying so close the said patrol ships that their signatures will be indiscernible from those of the frigates. When the frigates die, the pilots, who will be in protective suits, will power their ships off and await further instruction.

Meanwhile, I would send my remaining ships at a full charge towards the opposite flank of the enemy fleet, the remaining patrol ships acting as cannon-fodder cover with the intent of ramming my carrier into the one of the two Asterati battleships. This will accomplish several goals vital for mission success:

1.) Take out the enemy battleships. The first should break apart and slam into the second before it can maneuver away.

2.) Damage the remaining enemy ships. Debris from this collision will certainly damage the other alien ships to varying degrees

3.) Distract the Asterati from their main objective, and lure any suspicion away from my deception.

4.) Hopefully delay the onset of their fighter swarms and further distract those targets.

Now, of either of the other patrol ships that accompanied my carrier survived, they will join the 5 fighters and 2 bombers in wreaking havoc in the Asterati lines for as long as possible, but they will stay clear of the super weapon... We want the Asterati looking at us, not it.

Then, once the aliens look distracted enough, I give the signal and the fighter contingent I hid in the debris field will spring to action and haul ass for the superweapon. They bravely attempt to destroy it as it gears up to shoot Earth, and nearly succeed, but a technical failure in the bomber weapons systems caused debris-inflicted damage causes their guns to jam... Worst timing ever. Earth gets obliterated.

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