So how would the Federation wage war against the Empire, according to Virus-X?
Thanks to Section 31 field agents, informants & operatives ‘helping’ Imperial reconnaissance scouts gain some minor data the layout of a small portion of the Beta Quadrant, near the Alpha/Beta border, as well as a masterfully orchestrated disinformation campaign that continues to feed covert Imperial Intelligence and Ubiqtorate operatives, the United Federation of Planets maintains a hard and fast advantage over the less-advanced New Empire and New Republic. Also, with the help of Ferengi double-agents, the Imperial forces are left with what they erroneously believe to be crucial intelligence data on the layout and political structure of the Milky Way Galaxy. As soon as moles plant further false data (a necessary precursor to this campaign) we have no doubts that they will attempt to come through the trans-dimensional wormhole and attempt to establish a foothold in our space. Once their government is sufficiently convinced (i.e. “fooled”), they will immediately leap for the bait.
Phase 1: Secure wormhole. Due to technological differences, this shouldn’t be too much of a manpower-intensive effort. The UFP Starfleet 7th Fleet will be deployed, along with the 4th being kept in reserve for back-up. We do not anticipate them leaving stand-by status. It should also be unnecessary to take manpower or material from other, surrounding assignments, seeing as to how each starship should have a more than adequate manufacturing base. Strip men and materiel from existing sector fleets and deploy them at both ends of the wormhole. Covertly deploy special operations forces into Imperial space, first, for sabotage and distraction missions, allowing Section 31 Op-Com Starfleet forces to come through with less opposition.
Much of this presumes certain abilities available to the Federation and its fleet that have simply never been observed. Firstly, how would Section 31 so effective infiltrate the Empire? How is this misinformation campaign organised? How is the Federation going to intercept every last scout ship and probe available to the Empire? This campaign seems based more on hope than fact, something reinforced by the idea that only one fleet would be needed to stop the Empire from overrunning the wormhole. Then again, Virus-X is proceeding with a comparison of the Federation at its strongest against an Empire at its weakest. Also, Federation ships are not manufacturing plants. They have to carry certain items as cargo, and supply lines were of huge importance during the Dominion War, so much so that the Federation nearly didn’t commit to retaking Deep Space Nine, for fear of leaving these lines vulnerable. We know cargo ships exist too.
As for technological differences… well, Virus-X is right, there are differences – the Empire has the upper hand in shielding, firepower and FTL.
Another oddity is this ‘Op-Com’ force, and special operations forces. When have we ever seen the Federation use any such forces, much less military expressions? Starfleet officers end up being ‘jacks of all trades’, with no sign of any special operatives except Section 31 agents, who do not appear to be large in number and are not going to have the means to create a distraction for the Empire, as they’re not going to be able to get anywhere using slow warp drive.
Phase 2: Disperse enemy forces. Laying siege to Imperial space will not be a difficult proposition. Their space is small, and they have no allies in the region; only enemies that they’ve crated for themselves. Most of their territorial holdings are small, remote outposts, colonies, and bases, with very few major centers. Insure that ECM is in place, preventing them from making distress calls. This will allow us to mop up enemy forces, while inflicting minimal casualties. The enemy will have only two courses of action available, once they realize they’ve come under attack, and will take them both:
1. Maintain strong core defense fleets and virtually ignore the distress calls. Imperial officers are habitually cowardly, and will not allow their own ‘personal’ fleets to leave them unprotected, even if it means protecting the greater New Empire from a new threat. This will politically further destabilize the Empire, as their already captive audience of citizens will become more and more dissatisfied with their living conditions, either surrendering, going over to the New Republic, or even joining the fight against their Imperial overlords. We can expect multiple planetary secessions and surrenders in this event.
2. Send very few ships to besieged outposts. Due to their fear of leaving themselves vulnerable, very few of the petty politicians that run the Imperials’ government will contribute to the defense; only those that are close by, and believe they may be threatened next. As the Imperial starships arrive, gravitic pulses will knock them out of hyperdrive, and leave them vulnerable to surprise attacks, weakening their forces through steady attrition. Every ship that comes in, doesn’t come back out.
Imperial space, in a scenario where the Empire hasn’t been unreasonably neutered (why not take a Federation and Empire that are both free from external distractions?) spans a galaxy. It includes a million star systems, a huge fleet and incredible resources. This is why Virus-X has created this particular scenario, though the speed of hyperdrive would still allow for remnants of Imperial forces to reinforce positions well in advance of a fleet approaching at warp. This more or less renders Phase 2 moot.
We expect that the Imperial forces, thrown into complete disarray once they realize this is a Federation Starfleet attack, will expect the forces to halt their advance into the heart of their territory, and attempt to negotiate a surrender. They may attempt to take advantage of this assumption and launch a counteroffensive. They will not be allowed to, because the forces will not stop their blitzkrieg attack, until the Imperial forces are defeated. This will be better for the Imperial forces in the long run, as they will suffer fewer fatalities and casualties in the war.New Republic forces will be just as easily defeated in combat, though their territory is much larger. In such instances where we wish to engage in combat, we’ll just make sure that they know where we are, and allow them to come to us. However, their forces will be spread very thinly, due to the losing war they are fighting against the Yuuzhan Vong forces. Any Yuuzhan Vong forces that arrive will be easily enough dealt with, considering the much lower level of technological advancement their weaponry and sensory capabilities convey, due to the limits of biological technologies.
Whoa! The Federation would aggressively pursue combat against the New Republic?! To what end? The Republic would represent natural allies, not enemies! Furthermore, if the Empire opened negotiations to surrender in this ridiculously lop-sided scenario, the Federation would most likely stop to listen. After all, the Federation is not noted for war-mongering.
Phase 3: Cut their communications. Drop ECM arrays in a pattern surrounding and throughout Imperial space, cutting into their Subspace communications, leaving a window for Starfleet communications to continue. These frequency windows will rotate, randomly, preventing enemy forces from being able to tap into or jam them. This should be simple, as:
1.The communications relays are mostly undefended, especially in light of the fact that Imperials have virtually no resources to defend them.
2.The destruction of part of their network will cut off others’ communications, as they will not, ordinarily, receive backup from the recalcitrant moffs and various officers. Everyone will be too busy trying to defend their own territory, allowing Starfleet forces to move in and move out.
In the event of backup being dispatched, Subspace mines will be dropped, saturating Hyperspace travel routes. Since Imperial starships cannot change course while in Hyperspace without great and perilous effort, most will strike the mines and be destroyed. While this is regretful, it will cut off any intercession, making the conquest and pacification that much easier. Phase 3 would commence with the insertion of SOF and continue with the arrival of the main fleets.
What makes Virus-X assume they could easily disrupt Imperial communications? The Holo Net is a vastly more sophisticated system than subspace communications. Additionally, why would subspace mines (I am struggling to recall an instance where these have even been used) affect hyperspace lanes?
Phase 4: Pre-emptive first strike. Bring in the main fleet with a blitzkrieg attack, including both a heavy capital starship assault and starfighter attack. Historically, Imperial forces have displayed a distinct lack of imagination in combat, as well as an inability to turn the tide of battle, once it has begun to turn against them, as evidenced by the Battle of Endor which broke the back of their entire government. No known Star Wars galaxy civilizations have the technology to detect FTL vehicles moving through Normal Space, and not even through Hyperspace, unless their velocities are somewhat relative. Only vessels dropping out of Hyperspace are generally detectable to them, meaning our forces will be generally invisible. We will destroy the following, in order:
Their military leadership: Capture or destroy all homeworlds of moffs, including all of their troop training facilities, barracks, etc. The destruction of each world will require less than 30 seconds, so hit & run operations will be quite effective.
Logistical support facilities: Take all space stations, supply depots, starship refueling and repair facilities. Seize all Hyperspace routes cutting through Imperial space and around Imperial space.
Industrial facilities: Destroy shipyards, manufacturing facilities, material refineries, and critical mining colonies. The Imperials have only a single shipyard, so this will be neither time-consuming, nor difficult. Attacking and destroying non-Imperial shipyard facilities that work on contract with the Imperials will not prove difficult, either.
Cut-off of Hyperspace routes. Hyperspace routes are very delicate. The movement of planets, the appearance of massive objects nearby, etc., can render routes unusable or highly dangerous. This can be easily and temporarily accomplished through the laying of gravitic mines, which continually emit heavy tractor beam emissions. By controlling the magnitude of tractor beams, the routes can be made dangerous, or completely unusable. Starships attempting to utilize the more dangerous routes will be dropped out of Hyperspace, immediately, due to their hyperdrive cut-offs, and land in the middle of a Section 31 task force.
Virus-X forgets that the Empire’s territory is still going to be vast, even in his scenario. This was a regime that once spanned a galaxy – hyperdrive allows for rapid deployment, the Holo Net allows for instant communications, and Imperial ships would enjoy a firepower advantage to offset a numerical disadvantage. Leaving that aside, this all depends on buying into this particular scenario, which is a tacit admission a full-strength Empire would prove too much for the Federation to handle. It also relies on abilities never seen – like tractor beam emissions disrupting FTL. When has this happened?