Is it possible that the confederation could have won the kilrathi war after the Battle of Earth without the Temblor Bomb or Behemoth

YCDTD

Rear Admiral
IIRC, Victory Streak does reference FA, but that's pretty much it.

As for the outcome of the war, I can't say I dislike it, and I feel both HotT as well as WCS manage to tell both sides of the tale pretty well. I'm not sure if it came from a novelization or from discussions here, but I think the whole idea of assigning Blair to the Victory alongside Maniac, Hobbes and a few pretty good pilots on a junk carrier was pretty much to keep them out of sight from the Kilrathi and keep them very flexible and mobile in preparation for a raid à la End Run. Both Tolwyn and Taggart knew pretty well that at this point, even the best pilots with the latest equipment couldn't change the equation properly, not when the Kilrathi war machine was getting so big in comparison to the Confed's.

If Deveraux and her team could get to Kilrah and build the asteroid outposts, there's little if any chance Taggart (and by extension Tolwyn) missed on the construction of the Hvar'Kann class around the planet, getting ready for Round Two. These put a hard time limit on whatever operation would be needed to win the war, all of it made even harder by the operational status of at least one (or two, if we consider Saga in our canon) Hvar'Kann that would make it particularly harder to win a decisive victory.

On the other hand, both of these flag officers had plans that relied on mobility and secrecy to strike a killing blow. In this perspective, it makes quite an amount of sense to have a shitty carrier that would go beneath the Kilrathi radar and stay unnoticed as being the rustbucket assigned to patrolling against Kilrathi raids while real units were trying to fight on the frontlines against increasingly more Kats. Noone notices the Victory until the critical assets are ready, not even its own crew, even though it gets prepared for the high-profile operations (oh, we'll send an Excalibur there really randomly, which will require their tech crews to get the manuals, maintenance equipment and stuff to care for it later with no loss of time once shit gets real).

Considering the situation left at the end of Fleet Action... it does seem a reasonable plan, as strength alone cannot really do it, and even the superweapons under development need more than anything else complete surprise to work. With the Kilrathi deeply aware of the Confed's Order of Battle and construction capabilities, they could have noticed the discrepencies in their contact reports if, say, a shiny super-advanced carrier had gone missing in preparation for a raid like the ones that made such mess before the False Armistice. The Victory, on the other hand? It wasn't worthy of too much attention as it patrolled and slowly got in the staging grounds for the Confed's Hail Mary. Not even its crew realized it.
There is a problem with this idea that Confed High Command was using the Victory as part of the Behemoth and Temblor projects because the Kilrathi would overlook it. That problem is Blair. Blair has come to the attention of The Emperor himself, right? He is Thrakath's arch-nemesis.

It would make much more sense to have put someone less well known as the Wing Commander of Victory and have Blair back at HQ as a staff officer on the project(s) until the time came to deploy the weapon systems.

However; the WC3 intro does imply that Tolwyn holds Blair (somehow) responsible for the loss of Concordia, so perhaps Blair has fallen somewhat into disgrace. Again. 😒
 

ChrisReid

Super Soaker Collector / Administrator
There is a problem with this idea that Confed High Command was using the Victory as part of the Behemoth and Temblor projects because the Kilrathi would overlook it. That problem is Blair. Blair has come to the attention of The Emperor himself, right? He is Thrakath's arch-nemesis.

It would make much more sense to have put someone less well known as the Wing Commander of Victory and have Blair back at HQ as a staff officer on the project(s) until the time came to deploy the weapon systems.

However; the WC3 intro does imply that Tolwyn holds Blair (somehow) responsible for the loss of Concordia, so perhaps Blair has fallen somewhat into disgrace. Again. 😒
If was was just going to be used as a pilot, then yeah, he could have transferred over with Tolwyn or Paladin, but that would have drawn its own attention per the scenario you describe. Having him go over as routine Wing Commander and do mundane patrol work for a few months makes it less obvious that he's being used as a super weapon. And if they want him to actually be Wing Commander, it takes months in a new job to get to know the crew, pilots and everyone's capabilities for best performance.
 

Captain Obvious

Rear Admiral
I also don't think Tolwyn and high command expected the Victory to be a leaky ship. Ideally Kilrathi intelligence wouldn't know Blair was stationed to the Victory because who would be spying on the Victory? That was the entire point of using it in the first place.

And that would have worked. Nobody expected Hobbes to be a traitor. In WC2 it's clear that Ralgha has Tolywn's implicit trust and respect.

It's been a while but I never really got the impression that Tolwyn blames Blair for the loss of the Concordia, though Blair definitely has some hang-ups about it himself and isn't Tolwyn's biggest fan for good reason. He wouldn't have trusted Blair's squadron with defending the Behemoth if that's how he actually felt, though having the appearance of being disappointed in Blair may be part of the con.
 
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