I never said they DID have traitors running back and forth, I said that could be a possible explanation for not seeing large numbers of fleet units.
But arguing 'they've had eighteen months' doesn't work because the trinity defected only three weeks before the Aquitaine crosses the Knossos. Additionally, Alpha 1 stages himself as a deserter and joins the rebel ranks for his covert op, which means the rebels had a structure in place to quickly integrate defectors and that it was still common, or at least not uncommon enough to cause issues, for a pilot to defect EIGHTEEN MONTHS after the beginning of the rebellion. That's a pretty major security/loyalty concern on the part of the GTVA.
As for jump node blockades, yes of course i've played the King's Gambit. And that blockade leaked like a colander! Even if Alpha 1's group kills all ships that jump in, he's either godlike or lucky as hell because in your debrief your told that your group was the ONLY one that didn't have leakers. This I might add, is after MULTIPLE SUCCESSIVE blockades. If they are still a fighting force capable of mounting a 'credible' offensive on the Knossos after running a gauntlet of blockades, then blockades are simply not good enough to guarantee that you can trap a force in a system for a long enough period of time o nail them down. A major rebel force could simultaneously crash jump a node and escape a 'blockaded' system no problem if a 3 destroyer led force can run multiple blockades leading to drac. Further more, they 'somehow outmaneuvered the colossus and her battlegroup' so they can't be that easy to tack down.
On the topic of the vindicator, I see your point, and concede the point that expediency probably had a higher priority then capture. But Koth was given a chance. Why not the Vindicator if time had allowed? Yes capping a destroyer would be painful... but disable, disarm, tow to secure location and starve them if you have to. I get that in the Vindicator's case, fanaticism may have made that unlikely, but if you only have 70 of these things, ten have defected, and you lost at least one to the new shivan incursion, you'd think command would at least ASK for a surrender. The worst they can do is say no.
On the Phoenicia, I'm not arguing they shouldn't have deployed the Phoenicia to engage, im saying camping a Destroyer directly in front of a ship that we KNOW has overwhelming firepower through the bow, is stupid as hell. The whole reason we're deployed is to disable the Sath's beam cannons because if we don't, the Colossus will get boned. If the beam cannons are that dangerous, why have we camped a destroyer right in front of it? If destroyers were so uncommon, we should be just a little more intelligent about tactical plans. Engage from the side for example, Alpha 1 gave command some decent recon on this ships capabilities. Except the whole, blowing up suns thing but I don't even think we would have known what to look for there.
On the Psamtik, if your block gets blown up, and an authority figure, say I dunno, the towns mayor or something is talking to you about it after you watched it happen from three blocks away, does he say "This is a tragedy for you and anyone who was directly associated with people who lived on your block" or does he say "this is tragedy for our whole town, we share in your pain"? I still think the psamtik was emphasized because we served aboard her. She was also a flagship of a fleet, that's another reason that ship is more significant then others.