Jump Tactics

The other day I was thinking about space combat as featured on most Scifi Shows and movies. In most cases, most ships have some kind of FTL engines that allow them to make “jumps”, enter hyperspace or whatever.

But then in most space battle scenes you see both sides using conventional propulsion to maneuver into position. If I had FTL engine I would use it to my tactical advantage. Jump behind the enemy battle line, fire few salvos and jump away, only to appear at a different point few minutes later. We could of course argue that jumps can’t be executed fast enough, or are not fuel efficient enough to use as a battle tactic. But that’s bullshit.

When was the last time you saw a pre-jump prep last longer than few minutes on any Sifi show? When was the last time someone run out of fuel in space? Fuel or prep-time very rarely stops anyone from making really quick emergency escape jumps.

The only logical argument against using FTL for tactical maneuvering is the fact that in the heat of battle you could accidentally jump into another ship. What happens when two ships jump into the same location, or to a location occupied by another ship varies from one universe to another, but it is almost never a pleasant thing. But with some careful planning you can still use jumps as good opening moves, or surprise attack moves without much risk…

I just watched the new episode of Battlestar Galactica and holly friken shit! They did use insane jumps to create strategic advantage! The idea to enter the planet’s atmosphere via jump was totally awesome. I would never even really consider that. But that’s probably cause I would be to afraid that the hull of a deep space battleship would collapse upon itself in atmospheric pressure. Hell, most fictional universes have some funky rules about dangers of jumping really close to a gravity well of a planet. But, apparently Gallactica jumps do not have this sort of restrictions, and battlestar class cruisers can actually pull off atmospheric entrance. :)

This is exactly how do you use the shit out of your FTL in battle! You bait the enemy, and then appear somewhere where they totally do not expect you.

Battlestar Galactica: Exodus

ZOMG! Tactical FTL!

This was a good episode. I kinda missed space battles, and the military themes in the last two episodes. The tactical use of FTL was great. Unfortunately I’m forced to subtract half as star for the obvious Deux Ex Machina.

All in all this was a very satisfying ending to the New Caprica story arc. It seems that the writers effectively reset the show to a pre-pegasus state. I contemplated docking it another half a star for that, but I think it’s not going to be a big deal. BSG writers know better than to use the good old “reset to the last working state” trick.

My rating: 4.5 stars

BSG is still one of the best shows out there. I’m really glad that rumor about moving to NBC turned out to be false.

[tags]battlestar galactica, battlestar, galactica, jump tactics, jump, hyperspace, space, battle, space battles[/tags]

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