Can I just begin by saying that this is the most fun I've had in a debate in months? Anyway:
And speaking of fighter assets, the wave 2 TEI fighters outclass anything the UEF has. The canonical reason UEF fighter corps have been able to pick up wins is that GTVA pilots are fresher but slowly improving with experience, sending their best pilots away from combat to train new pilots while the UEF keeps their best pilots on the front lines to "rack up ridiculous kill numbers". The UEF won't find it all that easy to keep picking up wins against superior fighters as the GTVA pilots catch up.
The Nyx and the Atalanta are both very strong ships, but Nyx production didn't begin until after the Sol invasion, and Atalantas are "rare in the Terran theatre", according to their respective tech room entries. I'm not sure what to make of the Draco - does it ever actually show up in a mission? Meanwhile, the basic Uhlan is extremely effective against the outdated Herc IIs and Myrmidons the GTVA is still fielding, has the maneuverability to get the drop on heavier ships like the Ares, and is comparable, perhaps slightly favored, against the Perseus and Kulas, Kents are extremely flexible in the field, and Slammers exist. In the Fedayeen arc, Laporte, Thorn, and Al-da'wa all agree that Calder's fighter corps is still relevant, especially the bombers.
Oh, and the Fedayeen are still a thing.
I think in a more coordinated shock jump you wouldn't have all the ships emerging from the same location with the same vector. I think it would look more like A time for Heroes where the entire battlegroup coordinates to burn through the Sath's 1 million health pool in about a minute and a half. That can reasonably happen to a stranded Solaris that doesn't have time to recharge its jump drives when it overcommits to an engagement.
By splitting up and coming in from different angles Tevs can both bring more firepower and split up the UEF torpedo swarms which makes them easier for fighters to shoot down.
The Serkr team jumping in side-by-side looks impressive and terrifying but with more assets you'd want to do a 90 degree or 180 degree split.
Agreed, and this why I said shock-jumps against multiple frigates are hard to model mathematically: depending on the distribution of forces, it might be impossible for the corvettes to effectively focus-fire. Let C denote a Chimera and F a Karuna:
C F F | C F F C
The first case is clearly much easier for the Tevs than the second.
Over the course of the war the UEF scores very few important kills on-screen. Mostly cruisers and 2 Diomedes, and some Deimoses depending on whether the player disables them. The GTVA on the other hand scores 6 frigate kills(and remember, frigates are a size class above corvettes) alongside some Sancti (Sanctuses?). A big reason for this is due to the UEF's lower subspace manoeuvrability and much more even damage with no real options for finishing off ships before they can jump out.
, and Siren
are guaranteed corvette kills before Tenebra. The capture of the Agincourt
is also guaranteed. The UEF is guaranteed to lose the Cormorant
, and Ranvir
, plus three of the four Wargods frigates, and I can't think of any other guaranteed (or... even allowable) frigate losses (well, there's the Serenity
, but I think we've agreed not to count Tenebra here). That leaves the UEF with five guaranteed on-screen corvette kills to the GTVA's six on-screen frigate kills. There are surprisingly few guaranteed cruiser kills that I can think of: the Norfolk
, and Elissa
on the Tev side, and... none on the Fed side? Am I forgetting something? I suppose we can count the Dea Icaunis
and Dea Bricta
since it's difficult and optional to save them, but saving the Auxerre
doesn't always require any particular effort.
Now, I'm going to do something totally ad-hoc here, borrowed from chess analysis, and say that a cruiser is the basic quantum of warship significance, a corvette is "worth" two cruisers, a frigate three, and the Agincourt
five. These numbers are an estimate based more on what feels right than any particular formalization, but if we go with them, the Tevs have 17 cruisers-worth of onscreen kills, and the Feds 18. You can disagree with the numbers, but the point I'm making is that it's not actually that clear-cut. On the other hand, Steele's been tearing apart UEF logistics and there are frequent mentions of UEF supply shortages, so Steele's definitely pulling ahead...
...but that's just is. It's Steele, innit? He makes a lot
of trades and takes a lot
of risk, and while he generally gains some slight advantage on each one, that's not Severanti's style at all. The biggest on-screen loss for the Feds is Delenda Est
, which Severanti simply can't do. He hasn't the chutzpah. All the pressure you've cited as Steele's advantages wouldn't happen; the Feds could build up, train up, scale up, and... I can't think of a way to turn R&D into "up", but you get the idea. I'unno, if the topic's drifted away from Severanti to shock jumps, that's fine, but I'm still interested in the original question.
Most GTVA kills that we get to see come from shock jumps. GTVA jump drive tech is simply years ahead of what the UEF has which allows them to set up precise jumps and pick up kills with much less setup required. UEF kills on the other hand come from well-planned ops that utilise their infrastructure advantage but this also means that they're much less flexible once committed. Severanti never really exploits that, preferring to play it safely.
Well, I have to nitpick your characterization of the UEF style. It's true of Byrne and it's certainly
true of 3JRF, but the fiction makes a pretty big deal out of Netreba's style being different, and describes 2 Fleet frigrons as extremely autonomous.
On the other hand long-range artillery is much easier to set up but is less likely to pick up kills without very complicated setup that leaves GTVA ships stranded.
We've actually seen Narayanas shock-jump things (the Atreus
and arguably the Arathusa
), and the threat of the Katana
and Altan Orde
shocking the Carthage
was cited as probably influencing her behavior (knowing the Imperiuse
was coming was probably a bigger reason, but the Wargods' logic was still sound). I think the big difference between Fed and Tev subspace tactics is that, with proper navigation data, the Tevs can shock anything they can target, while the Feds can only effectively shock the flanks of an enemy they've already engaged.
Which means, come to think of it, that the Feds could offer one ship to bait a corvette pack, then roll in the Narayanas - probably not often in practice, but I can't see Severanti ignoring the possibility. A warship in
reserve and all.
The jammer in Aristea is scripted to die, sure, but it's really not very hard to kill an AWACS ship from long-range with maxim-armed fighters and bombers. A wing of 4 Ares or Artemi with maxims in their 4-bank can burn through its 30k HP in just over 10 seconds. Even with active armour it shouldn't take much longer. Deploy 2 wings jumping at opposite sides of the Oculus, preferably from above and below(since that gives them a larger target profile to work with) at 4000 kilometres and fighter assets will have a very hard time responding before it goes down.
All of the scripting is supposed to have a diegetic explanation in-universe. The Imperiuse might have an ECM advantage which throws off the Wargods targetting and causes their shots to deal much less damage or it might have advanced new active armour that the UEF wasn't prepared for yet. The railguns on the frigates might have taken battle damage which causes them to be much less effective.
The Oculus dies before enough damage is dealt because of a lucky maxim hit that tore through the hull and hit the reactor. Or maybe something went wrong with its active armour, making it take way more damage than it should. Or a previous glancing hit ****ed up its cooling which caused the reactor to overheat and the ship to suddenly explode. There are plenty of factors not represented by game mechanics that explain away the "cheating".
Sure, damage to the Wargods' weapons (or the simple surprise factor of a Titan-class destroyer out of nowhere) could certainly mess up their targeting. The point I was making was more about not writing off the Gauss cannon due to its low hull damage. You've repeatedly cited the ease of blowing up an Oculus, but the one time we did see the Tevs throw bombers at one (I'm referring to Aristeia), it kinda... doesn't work.