Having conducted video review of last shift, Sketch is ready to present.
The Crooked Star is not going to be easy to crack. Her heavy shields make her tough to damage, much less destroy, her speed and maneuverability make her hard to engage on, and her combination of jump drive and tractor beam make her near impossible to evade when she decides she wants to push an attack. If captain Mezzomorto is dead set on destroying something, he has all the tools he needs to do it. We’ve only been spared catastrophe by the grace that he seems to enjoy toying with us.
After analyzing his attack on Stalker last shift, I’ve determined that with our shields boosted, he was able to strip about a third of our maximum shield power with each shot, at a rate of 1.5 seconds between shots. With a bit of recharge, that allowed us to sustain 4 shots before our hull was exposed, about six seconds of shield effectiveness. The majority of our hull damage came from the support ships with their much faster fire rate. The Star hit our bow, while the others hit our stern, and as a result our bow only sustained minor damage before the Star jumped away, and in that time, his support ships put in enough attacks in to cripple our propulsion. Between jump in and jump out, the Crooked Star was directly engaged for 16 seconds.
There are two vulnerabilities that I can identify in the Crooked Star. For one, she is not equipped with anti-mine or anti-torp systems. She usually does not need them due to her mobility advantage, but there is a window where it can be exploited. This brings me to her second, and most glaring vulnerability: Because of her narrow beam arcs and the limited range of her tractor beam, she has to become nearly stationary when she engages a target, and this may present an opportunity for us to strike.
My idea is as follows: When the Crooked Star is in the area, our ships would have to remain in close proximity to be ready to react at a moment’s notice. When she makes her move and tractors a ship, the tractored captain gives the signal for a coordinated ordinance strike with a single EMP as an many P-Shocks as we can manage. With Horizon, Stalker, and Sabre, we have seven torpedo tubes between us. Osiris would be another two, or one if we have Lancer, if we can manage to crew four ships.
Timing would be critical. The ship with the EMP would fire first. The tractored ship will unavoidably be in range of the detonation, but its shields will probably be stripped below the EMP’s effective threshold before it hits anyway. The tractored ship should make every effort to make their shields hold as long as possible, but even then, it won’t take long before they start taking hull damage. The EMP should be closely followed by all the P-Shocks we can throw at the Star, timed to impact shortly after the EMP goes off. The less delay, the better, so they would have to be launched before the EMP detonates, due to how slow P-Shocks travel. We don’t want her to have time to see what is coming and jump away.
Last scans of the Star showed its shield capacity at 1300. The EMP would strip about half of that, leaving us with 650. Each P-Shock will deal 70 damage to shields, so assuming only three ships, that would give us 6 hits for 420 shield damage, 490 if we have Lancer as a fourth ship, or 560 if we have Osiris instead, if we can land them all on the same shield face. This would leave us between 90 and 230 shields left to take out with beams, ideally. Taking the time to finish her with beams, however, gives her time to jump away.
If the ship firing the EMP fires their P-shock(s) at the same time, the timing should work out due to the difference in travel speed. After the first volley of shocks, if all tubes are reloaded with maximum boost, and all available ships close their distance and fire a second volley of shocks. This will minimize the time between the first and second impact, and if we hit the same shield face with enough of them, one will hit an unshielded hull and secure the kill.
The ideal target would be the Star’s forward shield so that the tractored ship can remain effective. There will likely be other pirates in the area, but if this is executed well, they won’t have the time they would need to be a threat. This plan is aimed at destroying the Crooked Star in a matter of seconds, when it is at its most deadly, and its most vulnerable.
I am open to feedback, suggestions, or any flaws that anyone might see.