It’s tough to criticize someone after they win, and win they did. A staggering number of fleet commanders and coordinators led by Asher Elias killed a defended keepstar in FWST. The battle—unlike 49-U, this was one—lasted 13 hours in a full time dilation slog. However, after the victory, Imperium forces stood down and let the Anaconda titans withdraw uncontested.
Standing down was an easy choice to make. After 13 hours fighting, the prospect of going another 8 or so until downtime did not appeal to most. The Imperium fleet commanders were fried; whether they’ll admit to it or not. The Skymarshal, Asher Elias, said that while he had good numbers of supers and titans ready to go in to FWST to try and kill some of the Anaconda titans (Yours Truly was one of them), he decided that was not the time for a super fight.
With all the ego of a combat veteran, I’m going to say he was wrong. Near the end of a long battle is exactly the time to go in hard.
Before the 19th century, horse cavalry played a major role on the battlefield. In addition to scouting duty, horse cavalry’s role was to attack the enemy’s flanks, reposition quicker than infantry to plug critical holes in the battle formation, and to run down enemies who had broken and were retreating. The excellent cavalry officer, General Patton, summed up his philosophy:
“We’re advancing constantly and we’re not interested in holding anything except the enemy’s balls. We’re going to hold him by his balls and we’re going to kick him in the ass; twist his balls and kick the living shit out of him all the time.”Gen. George Patton
Even though Mittens’ Kittens are on the defensive, there is still a place for aggression and counter-attacks. In fact, counterpunching after Anaconda dropped two keepstars would have signaled to them that the Imperium was indeed here to fuck. After all, digging deep and committing for another 8 hours of combat is not something most would do. It’s at that time, when everything is spent, when both sides are frayed, that battles can not be simply won, but decisively won.
The Battle of B-R5 only happened because Lazarus Pubraven decided to go all in, even when the Mittani wanted to hold back. Holding back was the right choice in that situation, looking back. Laz made the bold choice that was only correct in hindsight. In FWST, Asher made the right choice to stand down. In hindsight, given a few weeks, no one is even going to remember it. Missed opportunities are like that.
Dear Reader, it’s valid to criticize me for Monday-morning quarterbacking, or armchair fleet commanding. I wasn’t in the hot seat and such. However, I do know one thing: the Imperium is outgunned, outmanned and they have to make an all out stand. Eventually Anaconda is going to stop faffing about and lay down in a big way. Imperium should take every opportunity to attack Anaconda supers and titans before that cataclysmic battle.