The Osarian Guard has specific combat formations it used. These ranged from full fleet formations, classified as macroformations, all the way down to microformations used by individual flights of fighters.
Fleet Subdivisions Edit
- The fleet as a whole was broken up into a number of different strategic elements. These were simply a grouping of all the ships within the fleet that had a common purpose; capital assault vessels were part of the fleet’s assault element, while the command ship and any vessels outfitted for long-range combat were grouped in the standoff element. The Guard’s fleet only contained one true strategic element, the assault element; because the fleet contained only one major capital ship dedicated to each of the other purposes, these other elements were classed as tac groups. The assault element, however, was composed of three separate tac groups.
- Just underneath the strategic element were tactical groups, or tac groups. These consisted of a single cruiser-sized vessel, called the group flag, and a small number—generally two—of smaller escort vessels in the frigate or corvette range.
- The Guard used conventional fighter formations: wings of three squadrons each, squadrons of three flights each, and flights of four. Support craft were grouped similarly, save that a squadron contained only six craft rather than twelve, and flights were pairs.
These were formations that involved a large portion of the fleet, or even its entirety. They depicted the locations of each strategic element, and sometimes dictated the element and group formations as well.
The Averin formation was the Guard’s standard invasion formation. It was similar to the Pathfinder formation, with the exception that it included a ground assault or transport element within the formation along with the flag element. In addition, the flag element was less sheltered than in the Pathfinder.
- The Averin formation was used for breaking through an enemy defense force to land troops and was named for the Kirconen Averin.
A Pathfinder formation was designed to break through an enemy force or blockade. It placed the fleet’s assault element in the front of the formation, with the flag group buried within the assault element with a clear field of fire forward.
The Spearhead formation was a formation designed to break into, and then stay, within an enemy formation. It was a slugging formation in its essence, carrying the assault element into the enemy fleet, where it would stay and exchange fire at point-blank range. The command or standoff element remained far back where it could target enemy ships with long-range weapons. The formation included an optional ground assault element hanging back behind the standoff element, ready to descend and land its troops when the opening to do so appeared.
Mesoformations involve fewer ships and are the subdivisions within a macroformation. These can include special formations for strategic elements; or they can include formations for individual tactical groups. These are generally capital ship formations; however, fighter and shuttle wing formations can also be considered mesoformations.
Element Formations Edit
Element formations determined the locations of tactical groups within a strategic element. Due to the organization of the Guard, the vast majority of element formations described the assault element of a fleet.
Element formations included:
- Assault Vee (vertical/horizontal), which placed one tac group in the rear of the formation, with the others branching off in front in a “V” shape. It could be used either vertically or horizontally.
- Assault Delta (vertical/horizontal), essentially the reverse of an assault vee. Like its forward-facing counterpart, it could be vertical or horizontal.
- Assault Line. This formation placed all tactical groups in a skirmish line stretching across the breadth of an enemy fleet. It was used when fighting masses of smaller ships, never when facing other major capital warships.
- Assault Column. This placed the tactical groups within an element in a line pointing toward the enemy. This was not often used in combat, as it prevented the ships involved from being able to combine fire forward.
- Assault Triad (ventral/dorsal), which placed the tac groups in a vertical triangle formation, either one above and two below (a dorsal triad), or one below and two above (a ventral triad). Often, the groups would be oriented to face the outside of the formation, the undersides of the ships all facing each other. This allowed the ships to form an area of relative calm inside the formation, and was a part of the Pathfinder/Averin fleet formation. It was this formation that was used when extracting ships, or simply when the assault element was surrounded on all sides.
Group formations Edit
Group formations determined the relative locations of each ship within a tactical group. Generally, they centered on the group flag, which was the major capital ship of the group.
Group formations included:
- Group Wedge (vertical/horizontal), which was essentially a miniature version of an assault delta. The group flag was placed in front, with the escorts and secondary vessels forming the delta behind it.
- Group Vee (vertical/horizontal), again essentially a smaller version of its element counterpart. It was not a heavily used formation, as it required the smaller, more vulnerable ships in the tac group to be the first into the fight.
- Group Triad (ventral/dorsal). In this formation, the group flag was the ship that stood alone. The most commonly used variant was the dorsal triad, with the escorts inverted below the group flag to protect its underside. The exception to this tendency was the landing triad, which placed the escorts above a dedicated ground assault or occupation cruiser to give it added cover against attacks from above.
- Group Column. This placed the three ships of a tac group in a line, bow to stern. The group flag could occupy any of the positions within the column, depending on the mission.
- Group Escort. This formation placed the escorts of a tac group to either side of the group flag; its purpose was to provide the flag with cover against fighters, or to protect a ship not outfitted for capital combat.
- Group Slash. This was a column formation, but with the ships staggered diagonally. This allowed the tac group to concentrate fire towards one side, while still allowing fire forward.
- Group Stack. This placed the ships of a tac group in a vertical line, stacked on top of one another. It allowed them all ships a clear broadside field of fire.
Wing formations Edit
- Wing Vee (vertical/horizontal). This placed the three squadrons of a fighter wing in the typical forward-facing “V” formation, a single squadron in the rear and two out to the front. It essentially was designed to annihilate an opposing fighter force with the first two squadrons, leaving the third squadron to clean up the leftovers.
- Wing Delta (vertical/horizontal). This placed the squadrons with one in front, and two behind. It was generally used in fast sweeps of the battle, not in head-on dogfighting.
- Wing Stack. This placed the three squadrons layered on top of each other, usually with each squad in a flat formation.
These were formations consisting of individual fighter squadrons or flights.
Squadron formations Edit
- Squad Delta. It followed the same pattern as other delta/wedge formations, with each flight within a squadron acting as an element.
- Squad Slash (right/left). This placed the squad’s fighters in a diagonal line.
- Squad Vee. This followed the pattern of other vee formations. The leading two flights were generally in either a diamond or slash formation; the trailing flight was nearly always in a diamond.
- Squad Escort. This was an escort formation for a squad of fighters, providing protection for some larger ship.
- Squad Triad. This placed one flight above or below the other two.
Flight formations Edit
- Flight Slash (right/left). This placed the four fighters of a flight in a diagonal line, either as a part of a squadron formation or to allow them to shift toward the side of an enemy formation and still meet the enemy effectively.
- Flight Diamond. This placed one fighter in front, followed by a pair, which were followed in turn by another single fighter.
- Flight Steppe (up/down). This placed two fighters side by side in the front, while another pair of fighters, again side by side, formed up behind and either above or below the leading pair.
- Flight Cross (front/rear). The front variant of this formation placed one pair of fighters side by side in the front, while the second pair were stacked one on top of the other in the rear of the formation; the rear variant reversed the roles of the pairs, placing the vertical pair in front of the horizontal pair.