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Second Exodus

Created by dave. Last edited by dave, 17 years and 207 days ago. Viewed 4,073 times. #2
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Commentary on Colonial tactics leading up to the Second Exodus

The Colonial's choice of tactics leading up to the second exodus are interesting in that they appear to be overtly influenced by narrative-imperative, rather than sound military tactics.

Adama's choice to risk Galactica in an attempt to free the people marooned on New Caprica is interesting in that Pegasus is both arguably and demonstratively the more capable warship:

  • in the pilot, as the fleet jumps away from the Ragnar Station, Tigh comments: We can't stand against those base ships.
  • Pegasus and Galactica stood together and defeated two base ships defending the first Resurrection ship.
  • Pegasus stood against and defeated single-handedly a base ship after getting lured away from the rest of the fleet.
These precepts lead me to speculate that while the Pegasus was clearly the more capable warship, Adama had decided to pool the crews and armament from both battlestars onto Galactica for this one mission, under the theory that one lesser-capable battlestar fully crewed and armed stood a better chance than one more-capable battlestar with a 75% complement or two battlestars half-manned.

However this theory is eliminated by Pegasus' performance against the four base ships, and Adama's comment that Lee had left his planes guarding the civilian fleet, confirming that Lee had planes and pilots to leave behind or take with him.

Lacking further information, we cannot mesh the tactical decisions made with the facts, beyond the requirement that the writers clearly wished to remove Pegasus from the series.

Given this evidence, a more prudent course of action would have been:

  • Pegasus and a drone squadron masquarading as a second battlestar jump into the nebula and draw off the two base ships in orbit around New Caprica. Pegasus engages the two base ships, forcing them to choose between standing and fighting Pegasus, or turning and being savaged as they withdraw back to orbit.
  • Galactica jumps into close orbit (or extremely low orbit), deploys vipers, and protects the civilian fleet as they escape.
  • Both battlestars withdraw.
Of course the return of two more base ships shortly after the engagement would have changed that equation, but Galactica stands a much better chance holding off two base ships than she does attempting to hold off four.

Lee's decision to throw Pegasus away in a ramming maneuver is similarly ridiculous. If she still had FTL drive she could have withdrawn and served the fleet another day.

Cylon Maneuverings prior to the Second Exodus

In the episode Exodus, Part II there are two base ships in orbit around New Caprica. Shortly after detecting the drones acting as decoy battlestars, two more base ships jump in. This implies that the two base ships were relatively near by.

The interesting question is: what were they doing?

The following episode, Collaborators, we see five base ships defending a Resurrection ship -- possibly Download City. This implies that the cylons had a total of eight base stars at their disposal: the five we see in Collaborators, plus the three lost in Exodus, Part II.

We also see what appears to be at least one full complement of Raiders performing maneuvers outside the base ships.

This presents an interesting tactical question: why were more base ships not committed to New Caprica when the presence of both Battlestars was suspected -- or later, when Pegasus arrived and their presence was confirmed? What was so important that required defending with half their forces?

Speculation: perhaps the Colonials were not the only potential opponents.

Disclosure: I have an irrational attachment to Pegasus. She echoed very closely the lines of the original series Galactica and had the power and punch to stand against the enemy. While I recognize that the series isn't named Battlestar Pegasus and there is a narrative requirement to deny our characters access to a powerful weapon, I still am disappointed with the sloppy tactical thinking that forced Lee to waste Pegasus.

Even if you accept the need to hold one battlestar back to protect the fleet, Pegasus was the better choice to go, and could even have been given a hero's death defending the civilian ships as they jumped away to the rendezvous. Of course this would mean the loss of one of the fighter squadrons, as Pegasus would have been unable to bring them home. This could have been mitigated by Adama inappropriately riding to the rescue and Pegasus holding off the Cylon fleet while Galactica collected Pegasus' planes and withdrew.

My point is that the tactical thinking here was sloppy and driven more by a "where we need to end up" rather than a "what should we do" mindset.

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