"The Hand of God" Revisited

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    These were problems brought to my attention by a gentleman who I exchanged views with concerning the battle in “The Hand of God”.

    A thought about Hand of God:

    Why would Capt Adama’s analogy about the school yard bully work? It might work if they were human-like, but the Colonials refuse to think of them as anything but toasters and machines.

    Especially if the Cylons had the base reporting in regularly, which it should, they’d know that something was up and send a few basestars out there to mop up.

    Credit to Walker 957


    This is my reply I sent to Walker 957;


    Concerning the Battle of the Cylon Tylium Refinery in The Hand of God:

    I’ll do a follow up to The Hand of God doing an after action report and cover those contradictions.

    For example; comments by Colonel Tigh lead me to believe that the Cylons are at the limits of fuel range.

    They may not have the fuel reserve to jump base stars in without that Tylium base to refuel.

    This makes sense as their ships are far larger than Galactica.

    Remember what Zachary/Gaius(^1) said about Tylium? A half billion megajoules per kilogram is what it delivers as refined fuel.

    That and its(Tylium’s) rarity indicates to me tremendous logistics problems for the Cylons this far from their home bases.

    So no base stars jumping in.

    It also occurs to me that we have seen base stars jump in but not move with reaction drives when they have attacked.

    That would explain why the Cylons would use raiders when to devastate a world all they would need is a jump capable missile barge. The raiders are the mobile element of the Cylon military machine.

    In any event here it is.

    The Battle of the Cylon Tylium Refinery Base.

    Synopsis of the Colonial plan.

    a.laying out the battlespace

    The Colonials have tri-sected the asteroid field into a pair of equalateral conics. Where the conic’s tips intersect: is the asteroid refinery. A pair of jumbled gravitational loci where loose clusters of rock aggregate, provide cover for the in-jump of Galactica at one conic’s base, while a decoy group of freighters masks itself by in-jumping at the base of the other conic. The trisecture is staged so that the freighters, Galactica, and the base form the points of an equalateral triangle.

    b.-intent of operation.

    The intent of the operation was to capture the Tylium asteroid. For that purpose, since the Colonials have their own extractor/refinery ship it was not necessary to take the Cylon refinery base, intact.

    c.-plan of operation

    The Colonial staff faced three obstacles in this operation.

    -The Cylons have a local numerical force ratio of single pilot fighter craft advantage of greater than three to one.

    -The Cylons have superior CM/CCM capability.

    -The Cylons have greater fuel reserves.

    -the refinery has a comprehensive integrated local area anti-spacecraft defense complete with an asteroid based SWAC(Ground Controlled Intercept) system.

    Against these disadvantages, the Colonials have the following advantages.

    -superior intelligence and knowledge of the battlespace.

    -simplicity of objective.

    -mobile forces equipped with space based SWAC(Raptors) against a static base with fixed range scan systems.

    In simple terms the Cylons have numbers: the Colonials have

    The Colonial plan was based on their knowledge of the battle space, their ability to exploit their mobility advantage, their understanding of the Cylon psychology(known penchant for formulaic tactical pre-dispositions and re-active predictability)-in short DECEPTION and surprise.

    Means and methods

    The Colonials plan to yoyo the Cylon mobile forces between their two forces, the Galactica at point B and the decoy freighter force at point C, after the Cylon force was drawn out from close cover patrols from their base at point A(see diagram above.)

    At the correct moment when the base was uncovered and its integrated defense system was separated, a strike package would set off the Tylium precursor fuel in the processor facility to destroy the Cylon base(including the GCI control and the point defenses) and then the Colonials would move in and mine and process the asteroid with the fleet fuel processor.

    To draw out the Cylon cover force the freighters would jump in first, announce their presence and in general make themselves targets.

    This hopefully would cause the Cylons to uncover their base, so that the Galactica could jump in and launch its strike and make itself a target.

    The strike package would then draw out the Cylon base raider reserve husbanded against such a surprise attack plan to sortie a midrange intercept.

    The Cylon force following mainthreat machine logic would home in on the Galactica launched strike package.

    Referring to the above diagram then, the Cylon main body would be headed on a direct line along the vector A/C to attack the freighters.

    The Cylon reserve force would be headed on the line A/B to intercept the Galactica Strike Package.

    As the main element in the Colonial plan at this point is DECEPTION: to lure the Cylon covering forces out of position, the Galactica package was expected to fight, feign panic, and retreat upon the Galactica.

    As the battle showed this had the desired effect with the Cylon reserve force pursuing.

    Whether it was task prioritization or a Cylon calculation that it would take more than fifty raiders to destroy a battlestar;(The latter is more likely, based on shown technical capabilities present in gun camera footage.)the Cylons committed EVERY mobile unit they had to defeat and destroy the Galactica(machine formula logics).

    The Colonials then pulled the Tired-Trojan-Horse-Trick with a hidden strike package based on a container ship. This strike package(the freighter package of the twelve snakes of the Pythean Prophecie) followed the vector B/A to its objective by direct route, suppressed(or tried to-their attacks on the anti-spacecraft missile sites were spectacularly unsuccessful!) and sucker-punched the Cylons and blew the base with suitable heroics by their strike leader.

    The entire battle plan thus depended on enticing the Cylon raider forces to commit to long futile pursuits after bait forces that caused the Cylons to position their mobile forces out of position to defend their base.


    One thing must be mentioned. Colonial military leadership knew it had a Cylon in its operations group and used that fact to further its deception plan.(Adama to Roslin, “Old habits die hard.”)

    The plan was deliberately revealed in controlled stages, in the presence of the agent, so that it could relay updates as to the Colonial dispositions(Adama to Baltar, “Everything is on the board.”).

    Immediately as soon as the Cylon agent was misled as to total strength displayed by the battle plot, that agent informed its counterparts in thye battlespace AND THE CYLONS SHIFTED EVERY RAIDER ONTO WHAT THEY THOUGHT WAS THE COLONIAL MAIN EFFORT.

    AAR. Comments

    -The deception plan upon which so much was contingent worked flawlessly.

    -Colonioal Viper pilot dogfight skills are shockingly poor against GCI controlled Cylon raiders.

    -Perceived Cylon countermeasures/counter-counter measures remain superior to the best Colonial tech.

    -Colonial Viper pilot CAS and Integrated Anti-spacecraft Defense Suppression skillsets(IASDS) are almost as poor as their dogfighting skills.

    -Colonial staffwork is good. Their execution of the plan was remarkably effective, showing a profound understanding of their “TOASTER” enemy.

    -Cylon understanding of the operational art was by contrast terrible. When presented with an unfolding enemy plan that was scattering the Cylon mobile forces across half an asteroid field, the machine logics running their side of the battle chased after obvious decoys, further drawing mobile forces away from what had to be the primary Colonial objective. This reveals a pre-determined Berserker(TM) psychology that a competent enemy(the Colonials) can and did exploit to offset the Cylon positional, numerical, technical and individual fighting prowess advantages.

    -Colonial situational awareness during the battle was acute.(Boomer and Crashdown in their Raptor are the unsung heroes of the battle, contributing in their own way;MORE, than Apollo did with his heroics, by their timely and accurate SWAC reports to their strike packages and to the Galactica of enemy strength, location and vectors.}.

    -By contrast Cylon scouting and reconnaissance was poor, seeing only what the Colonials wanted them to see; when the Colonials showed it to them.


    Kara Thrace is the Arleigh Burke of the Colonial staff. It was her plan. This is incredible. In history I can think of only two naval officers that combined the abilities of a superior single combat warrior with the staff skills that Kara is by filmed canon shown to possess.

    One was Mathew Perry of the United States Navy in the War of 1812, and the other was Minoru Genda of the Japanese Navy in the Second World War. (No “Sandy” Woodward doesn’t even come close!}

    Logistics, which is the heart of all war, and which generally causes the selection of most battle spaces by one or both sides, was the chief cause and problem in this battle.

    Walker wondered why the base didn’t send out a distress call and call for base star support?

    There has to be a reason.

    I have several:

    a.-No FTL radio.
    b.-asteroid field to hazardous for the base stars to in-jump.
    c.-Base stars were too far away to reach the battle space in time to affect the decision.
    d.-unrefuelled range.

    My guess is that the Cylons couldn’t call for re-inforcements, either due to Colonial jamming(Those pesky Raptors, again.) or the base didn’t have FTL radio.

    I also speculate that the base stars have a limited radius of action and that once they in-jumped they would be hurting for fuel more than the Galactica.

    Colonel Tigh compares space to a desert with the Cylons sitting on all the water holes(oasis/Tylium fuel deposits).

    That meant two things to me. The Cylons had an urgent need for the fuel themselves for their fleet above and beyond what a Colonial naval officer might.

    The Colonials had an underway replenishment naval train which the Cylons lack. That the Cylons built a base to refine fuel and the Colonials built a ship-speak volumes about Who has the “legs” on Whom.

    It indicates Colonial technical superiority in logistics and mineral extraction.

    It also indicates to me that the Colonials build longer-ranged ships.

    This is especially true of Raptor versus Raider, as it is mentioed in The Hand of God by Lee Adama that Raptors can jump up to twelve light years round sortie without incurring bingo fuel.

    That is phenomenal!

    A few more points;

    -this battle had the feel of Chancellorsville where misdirection and widely separated Army of Northern Virginia converging columns was supposed to misdirect the Army of the Potomac and make it go chase willow-of-the-wisp so that Lee could smash Hooker off his supply line with Stonewall Jacksons far weaker independent column at the decisive moment. If Jackson had gotten hold of Hooker’s trains like Lee wanted….

    -This battle was a game of spatial hockey with the Cylons losing the puck and playing the battle space like it was a game of soccer. They chased the ball, when they should have defended their goal.(Yes it is a slap at that European sport of soccer-REAL MEN play hockey-to sharpen the mind as well as strengthen the legs. Damocles)
    Impressions of the filmed battle.

    I’ve covered this in the episode review, but I would like to add a few notes.

    This is the first series of science fiction since Babylon 5 that has tried to show how supply, time, and distance is more important than sheer weight of numbers in battle.

    Historically the side that gets there first(on the objective) with the most(force) wins.

    That, this, is usually the larger side; is due to the larger side’s ability to tie down the weaker side, so that the weaker side has nothing to spare to get to the common objective.

    In this filmed battle, the writers contrived the plot: so that the incredibly stupid Cylons, would obligingly run off and ignore their obvious prime objective(defend their fuel dump) in the face of their previously explicated(and shown) naval tactics of harassment and pursuit, to force the Colonials to run out of fuel; so that the Cylons can bring the Colonial fleet to battle and destroy it at leisure. Tigh implies as much when he states that the Cylons are fortifying every Tylium deposit within Colonial reach.

    Whatever “TOASTER”(It HAD to be a Leoben model-it sure was stupid enough to qualify.) it was, that ran the asteroid base must have had rocks for processors-given this obvious set of circumstances the Cylon High Command set up.

    I won’t comment on Baltar’s “lucky guess”, of what part of the Tylium plant to hit except; to say: that when a military force does its homework, it gets the breaks all the way down the line.

    (Google; The Battle of Midway and Spruance’s Luck)

    That means I don’t believe in accident. Good planning and good execution(in this case good writing based on historical precedent and reasonable for television accuracy in The Hand Of God) leads to such unbelievable outcomes actually being believable. Especially since history is filled with examples of such “wild guess” luck.

    Lake Erie
    San Jacinto

    are some of the most famous American examples.

    I welcome any correction of my analysis and fair criticism of it for I am sure it contains errors.

    If anyone has anything to add to or point out concerning things I missed, in covering this battle; please, by all means post it, so that I can adjust my analysis to fit the new information.


    Some notes.

    ^1. Zachary/Gaius is a tag I invented as a reference for the character, Gaius Baltar, as misportrayed by James Callis. He certainly reminds me of the character, Zachary Smith, as portrayed by Jonathan Harris on a lamentable science fiction series called “Lost In Space”.(Which it indeed was.)

    Normally one doesn’t do a “battle report” when analyzing an episode of a science fiction show like Battlestar Galactica, but The Hand of God was so obviously a battle episode that it cried out for some kind of “tactical” analysis to explain its composition.

    I saw no one doing such an analysis, anywhere. I just had to have a crack at it.(The show is called Battlestar Galactica-about a fleeing “spacecraft carrier”-herding an exodus fleet of human refugees from rapacious robots. The military element of the show is kind of important…..)

    i hope this little work up gives some insight into the strange world evolving on Galactica.

    By now, if it hasn’t been made clear in Act of Contrition or You Can’t Go Home Again, then The Hand of God should have made plain just who the military geniuses of the Colonials are.

    It isn’t Lee Adama or Saul Tigh.

    So here’s to Kara Thrace and William Adama.

    Postscript; Since the character, Kara Thrace, has such a prominent role in this series; why has there been no character profile?


    hmm….interesting ideas…

    just a thought, however (I am prob missing the vital point). If the Cylon trillium base is too far out for the base ships to jump to without having the fuel from the base to jump back with, it would make a rather useless or not very efficient place to have a refinery. The ships would have to be able to store more fuel than they would need for the jump?


    As I understand it, the Cylons have had forty years to scout and plan since they lost the first Cylon War.

    They, as the defeated, probably fled Colonial Space.

    In effect, the Cylons, have had their Exodus.

    This time around they are the pursuers and with machine logic they probably have decided to make sure that the Colonials won’t do to them what they have just done to the Colonials.

    What has this to do with Tylium and that asteroid?

    Tigh comments that the Cylons have fortified all the Tylium deposits within reach of the Ragtag Fleet. This means to me all the charted Tylium deposits known in Colonial Space.

    Crashdown and Boomer, scouting at extreme range from the Galactica, discovered a new source of Tylium unknown to the Colonials.

    This indicates to me that the Ragtag Fleet is beyond Known Colonial Space.

    That also suggests to me that the Cylons thoroughly scouted this region of space when they were establishing themselves. The base is well built and the infrastructure shows a reasonably long term investment in fuel processing for Cylon needs.

    Lee Adama points out that there is enough processed fuel after the refinery is blown to supply the Colonials’ immediate fuel needs for years.

    My other suppositions are based on film evidence.

    The Galactica has a reaction drive and is seen moving.

    The Cylon base stars, thus far, have shown the ability to in-jump, but haven’t shown any other ability to move.

    The base stars are huge in comparison to Galactica.

    That means to me that the Cylon base ships are jump capable fuel hogs.

    Add to this that machines are “logical”. This is shown on screen.

    This means to me, when I see-
    -that the machines build to “minimum” requirements for the use of the devices they need.(Note that the Centurions have “pistol” armament; whereas, the Colonials use at the least, combination pistol/rocket gun sidearms as well as some kind of rifle. Note that the Cylons’ Centurions show no armor plating?)
    -that the machines have shown no desire or need to build in redundancy or survival into their fighting machines.(Their raiders use a biological processor that is “doglike” and is more like the intelligent software planned for the uninhabited combat vehicle that is the next step in military robotics. There is no bailout pod for that control unit.)
    -that the machines(biocylons) show berserker kamikaze tendencies.(Darlow[Toaster Mark III] blows itself up on the Galactica?)

    it indicates to me that the Cylons neither have a fleet train(not shown) nor do they have the reluctance to accept the one way range limit that a base star might have.

    Remember I hypothesized that the Colonials jammed Cylon base communications and that the Tylium asteroid was in terrain too dangerous for base stars to in-jump? So range is not the only consideration.

    It was shown in the mini-series that the Ragtag Fleet sought refuge in a nebula? The Cylons didn’t enter there because their sensors were useless and the space was therefore dangerous to them. They were content to wait for the Ragtag Fleet to come out so that the Colonials could be destroyed in open space.

    This implies the Cylons are “conservative” in tactics as well as resources. They won’t risk anything unless they are confident of outcomes.

    This makes the battle around that Tylium asteroid all the more bizarre. It puzzles me that the Cylons chased after the Colonials once the pattern of engagement was set.

    It, also, is surprising to me that the Cylons didn’t have a suicide bomb to neutralize the Tylium as insurance in case the base did fall?

    All of this, just indicates, that the Leoben(biocylon model) running the defense was an idiot, that the Cylons didn’t expect that their automated fuel refinery would be discovered, and that it was a base at the outer limits of scouted Cylon territory(-since it had so few defenders.).

    The assumption that the base stars have shorter ranges than the Galactica is just that, an assumption based on the actions of base stars as regards the movements of the Galactica.

    If you haven’t seen Kobol’s Last Gleaming then you will see further evidence of the one way nature of base stars at work in that episode.

    Now the range limitations for Cylon base ships don’t hold for their Raiders. I liken their(the Raiders) failure to appear in numbers as in-jumping re-inforcements solely to be due to the efforts of the Raptor’s jamming deployed by the Colonials.(See above.).

    If it turns out that the base stars did have the range to round trip, then I will stick to the terrain/ Raptor jamming hypothesis.


    Whoa, just whoa! You certainly know at lot about tactics.
    Check your email.

    The fleet only discovered one source of Tylium, but Tigh surmised that if others were found, that the Cylons would be guarding those too.

    There is a Kara “Starbuck” Thrace Character Review, albeit a brief one.

    The rest of my post contains end of season 1 spoilers. Stop reading now.

    You have been warned!

    While I’ll agree that the Basestars are fuel hogs, (what dreadnought isn’t?), I can’t agree that they don’t have a long FTL range. A Cylon Raider can jump from (near) Kobol back to Caprica. Imagine what the range on a Basestar would be. I can’t see the Basestar having a shorter FTL range. The energy cost must be huge, but its a military craft, its probably engineered to carry a lot of fuel and go on long term missions. But with such a large FTL range, long-term is almost meaningless. The cylons after all, chased the Galactica for 239 jumps in the first episode.

    The Basestars have to have some sort of sublight engines. We’ve seen them in orbit of a few planets, and that certainly requires manoeuvring.In the mini, it was mentioned that the battle (bastestars) was moving at sublight between colonies.

    I don’t believe there is FTL communications, so I can understand why the cylons didn’t call in reinforcements during Hand of God. But I find it to be a major plot hole that we can assume that the Galactica destroyed the ~150 raiders before they could escape. I thought this was a major contrivance before I learned that they could have jumped away to a VERY far place in an instant. If even one raider escaped, they could have brought back reinforcements before the Colonials could have recovered the fuel.

    As an aside, jumping into an asteroid belt would be a major bitch, too much debris floating around, what if they jumped into a small asteroid?

    I’m personally of the mind, that the Cylons wanted the Colonials to get the fuel, but they had to give the appearance that they were trying to keep it from them. The Helo-Caprica arc seems to parallel the Fleet story pretty closely, and we’ve seen how they were steering Helo around.


    (SPOILERS for “Kobol’s Last Gleaming” included in this post!)

    The plotholes the writers left themselves were large enough to send the Ragtag fleet through.

    The labrat-in-a-maze-being-prodded hypothesis is interesting. I personally think the Cylons know about Earth, and are using the Ragtag Fleet as a Judas Goat. That however is only a sidebar to their main plan which I still find somewhat puzzling.

    There is the incident where the whitesuited boomer clone III tries to kill Agathon(and is shot by Caprica Sharon) that makes me suspect that if the Biocylons are trying to labrat Helo, then not all of them have the WORD.

    Now as to that Tylium?

    Tigh mentions that the Cylons need Tylium as much as the Colonials do if not more.

    He also states it is rare.

    That means the Colonials have surveyed(at least in their space) for the fuel deposit sources.

    Where the Colonials are now is beyond their Known Space. They had to survey for water earlier and fuel now.

    The Cylons probably surveyed for fuel and garrisoned the deposits when they went into hiding(See the previous above post for my reasoning.).

    The base stars probably have some form of gravidic engine or artificial gravity(The Colonials obviously have it or they would float aboard their ships.) What the base stars don’t have is a reaction drive that allows them free maneuvering independent of a local mass’ gravitational field.(That’s what I see on film.)

    I can argue that tactical mobility for a base star is thus restricted.

    As to their sublight travel between the Twelve Colonies?

    Gravitational slingshot?

    FTL radio may be possible, or the Cylons could use couriers as you suggest-BUT:


    it is implicit in Lieutenant Gaeta’s analysis that those Cylon transponders are akin to a beacon network for the Cylons that allow them to in-jump on a pre-registered locator signal.

    The Tylium asteroid base should have had one.

    The Colonial Raptors based on the series’ backstory should have been able to jam the base’s transponder.

    That is how I explain the lack of those long ranged Raider in-jumps into a rock cluttered environment or the out-jumps of couriers sent to bring help.

    The Cylons couldn’t communicate with their navigational beacons to make precision jumps.

    It also helps explain the strange Cylon ability to quickly out-calculate the Colonials when computing a jump(“33”) , why the Cylons lose track of the Ragtag Fleet when their bugged freighter goes bye bye, and the


    curious interaction between that Cylon Scout and either Galactica Boomer or some other Cylon plant aboard the Galactica (“Tigh Me Up; Tigh me Down”-my favorite suspects are Ellen Tigh, Lieutenant Gaeta, or Billy Keikaya at the moment.). Those transponders simplify the Cylons’ navigation and communication problems immensely.

    It(the transponders) is also a good argument for suggesting FTL communication-at least among the Cylons.

    Something else bothers me.

    The Ragtag Fleet made 200+ jumps in “33”.

    Those jumps were, from my observation of the story(“33”), were just planned to be far enough to escape local Cylon sublight patrols. That doesn’t mean light year increment jumps for the Ragtag Fleet. It makes a sort of sense as I would expect a major jump(like a twelve lightyear Raptor jump from “The Hand of God”) to be a major calculation for Lieutenant Gaeta(Who appears to be Galactica’s gravigator?) that would take some hours to safely calculate.

    If all you have is thirty three minutes then you micro-jump in gravitationally “flat” space to avoid running into planets and other navigational hazards.

    I also suspect that the Ragtag Fleet is still relatively close to Caprica.(No more than a few parsecs out. If Kobol is two hundred years by STL slowboat.)

    The biggest headache as far as story line goes is that FTL engined Raider. Unless the Ragtag fleet has doubled back on Caprica and is midway between Kobol and their old home then things at that point start to break down storywise.

    Based on the slim information available I prefer the following hypothesis.

    In the sixty days since the bombing of Caprica, Adama has led the fleet on an outbound spiral. He has resource surveyed and charted within the outer system reaches of the Caprican system or in the space between the system and its nearest neighbors.

    The one time the Galactica and the decoy freighters left the Ragtag Fleet, we were given an upper range limit(Tigh and Lee Adama) of twelve lightyears scouting radius by the Raptor hunting parties.

    I submit that if the Raptor can jump twelve lightyears, then the Raider should have a similar range limit.(Fuel limit based on the Raider’s size.)

    The larger base ships may have longer legs but I doubt it.

    Jump capability may be mass related?

    For these reasons I suggest that the “huge range” that some postulate for the Raider may be a misread.

    If the battlestar is still within the twelve lightyear Raptor radius of Caprica, then Kara could easily one or multi-jump her way to that world.

    damocles wrote:

    (SPOILERS for “Kobol’s Last Gleaming” included in this post!)

    The plotholes the writers left themselves were large enough to send the Ragtag fleet through.

    The labrat-in-a-maze-being-prodded hypothesis is interesting. I personally think the Cylons know about Earth, and are using the Ragtag Fleet as a Judas Goat. That however is only a sidebar to their main plan which I still find somewhat puzzling.

    Uhhhhh…I thought the graphics were cool. 😳


    This is an update on my tactical analysis of the battle in The Hand of God

    Walker 957 had some observations about my analysis of The Batle of the Tylium Asteroid.

    Good point about the basestars mobility and fuel needs. Although it could have jumped outside the area and sent in raiders, this would have been much less effective.

    But on what I remember, it seemed that the freighters and Galactica jumped in on opposite sides of the base. The feint was to put Galactia on the ‘dark’ side of the base to avoid sensors, which is where a patrol might spot them.

    Also, the Raiders inbound on the freighters pulled a 180 to acquire Galactica as a target.

    The Vipers sent out against the Raiders were the true diversion, meaning that most of the new/less experienced pilots were probably flying them. We do see Hot Dog in that group.

    An interesting point is that even though the Cylons lost, the Raiders didn’t just continue to attack, but instead run away. We’ve seen that they have FTL capability, a Raider could just as easily jump away, or serve as a messenger instead of FTL communications.

    Creditted to Walker 957

    This is my continuation of my discussion with Walker 957. D.

    For those of you who are confused as to the gun camera footage of the battle?

    When you get the chance to see it again, look at the layout of the Galactica staff’s manual plot of the battle on their “push table” as well as their “plexiglas threat plot”-an obsolete WW II manual plotting method aircraft carrier’s air intercept tracking parties used to use to plot vectors of enemy in-bound “vampires” in The Hand of God.

    You will see the battle was laid out in a triangular fashion.

    The Colonials played the corners.

    It was the Saul Tigh/Lee Adama plan to put Galactica on the dark side of the base to use the base shadow cone to mask Galactica’s in-jump from telescopic as well as active radar observation. Kara pointed out that the Cylons would have a covering patrol to unmask the Cylon base’s blind arc. That was one reason that the Tigh/Adama “conventional plan” was “scuttled.”

    Raiders doing a 180 flip was a CGI glitch, and/or “cool”.

    Or it could be at the close range approach vector that the Cylons used to set up their attack runs on the freighters, the raiders positioned themselves so that, the relative angle of approach to re-vector on Galactica required them to 180 to achieve the correct new heading. Who knows?

    The Galactica strike package was a major feint to draw off the Cylon reserve and their fighting patrol and I never said otherwise. However it was the Galactica, herself, and not Strike One or the freighters that was the main decoy.

    Callsign “Chuckles” was a Nugget. He was part of Lee’s flak suppression element in his strike package. He was splashed.

    When the Cylon base was destroyed, their base “ground controlled intercept” radar and “positive control intercept” management of the battle space died with the base. Those raiders were vectoring blind.

    Could the raiders have jumped? Who knows? Does the standard raider have to have contact with a navigation beacon like a transponder to home in on to aboard a base star?[MAJOR SPOILER TO FUTURE EPISODE!] to obtain jump co-ordinates?

    It also, I should mention be an incomplete victory(from the dramatic point of view) if the episode’s writers didn’t have Strike One pursue and destroy the machines once the raider’s “master control” was destroyed.

    There is also this. We, now, KNOW that Raptors can jump up to twelve lightyears, and keep a positon/vector fix on Galactica based upon the Lee Adama dialogue in the episode The Hand of God. We know Raiders can jump. We have not seen Vipers jump. What we don’t know is the jump range of the Raiders without transponder support. It must be short. Maybe only a matter of light hours, if the Raiders need base stars to ferry them into attack range of major targets like planets.(I can’t say more than this without giving away MAJOR SPOILERS in the season closers. D.)

    Now that I have answered these points, Walker(And I think you for pointimng them out! )…..I can add the following.

    Cylon raiders seemed to be slaved to some “master control” communication system with an overall “fighter intercept director”. This seems to be an attempt of the writers to deliberately mirror “Soviet” air battle doctrine that insisted on “positive ground control” of all aircraft in an air battle-leaving little or no initiative to the lead pilots of individual flights.

    It was made painfully obvious that the Colonial SWAC Raptor’s crews(Boomer and Crashdown especially) performed the AWACS function in the “Western” air battle doctrine of supplying information, warning, and tactical intelligence to the Colonial Viper pilots so that they could make local decisions themselves based on information they received. The recall from Galactica made in accordance with the information supplied by the Boomer/Crashdown team was in accordance with the battle plan and did not amount to the close battle management style of the “Soviet” system, but rather the generalized battle management style of the “Western” system that left local initiative in the hands of the pilots. Witness Lee Adama’s unconventional tactics in his attack on the Tylium fuel processor and Kara’s pounding into that by-the-book-pilot’s head(before the battle) to show initiative at the point of contact/decision;

    “We only get one shot at this. Don’t frak it up by overthinking!”

    What’s the point?

    Once the Cylon raiders lost their master control, they were unable to handle the situational awareness of their battle space. They became gunnery targets for the surviving Nuggets of Strike One and the returning survivors of Strike Two.

    So Ablespacewoman Dualla could say in transmitting the William Adama order;

    “Tear them up!”

    And Vipers outnumbered five to one had a jolly time splashing Raiders in a frenzy of duck hunting.(Not shown on film.).

    That also implies another thing.

    Raidsers CANNOT jump without a navigation beacon and positive control.

    They lost that when their base went bye bye.

    It also suggests that their base stars were beyond communication range.

    It also proves that the Cylons and Colonials have FTL radio, but practiced EMCON when necessary to mask their unit locations.(Notice; that the the Boomer/Crashdown team practiced radio silence when they passively detected the Tylium facility? And that they vectored out immediately beyond Cylon raider jump pursuit range and probably used an indirect return vector to Galactica?)

    It suggests further evidence that raiders have limited jump range. It also suggests that neither the Colonials, nor the Cylons can locate the positon of a ship after a long range jump without some kind of beacon.(Episode entitled; 33).

    These are points I didn’t bring up because: either’
    1. I didn’t think of them.
    2. You hadn’t brought them to my attention, yet.(Thank you!)
    3. The points were too obvious for me to explain.
    4. Discussing the points in detail would reveal future episode plot elements.
    5. The points were peripheral to the main discussion.
    6. The post was already complicated enough for me to keep track of the main subject without bogging the reader down in sidebar details.

    Still the battle analysis covers a subject episode rich enough that we can keep this thread going(hint hint ); with a discussion, where people can point out my errors and I can update my analysis; as others present new observations and new ideas as to what happened and why.

    Who knew that one episode would occupy so much effort?

    Did anybody ever do this kind of battle analysis for the old Battlestar Galactica episode Gun on Ice Planet Zero?

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