Service entry dates for Confed fighters

Mekt-Hakkikt

Mpanty's bane
I think Quarto is right and the year for the Thunderbolt is given in the WC3 novelization ("being introduced last year"or something like that). But I am on vacation and for some unknown reason I didn't pack my WC3 novel and can't check.
 

Whistler

Commodore
I think Quarto is right and the year for the Thunderbolt is given in the WC3 novelization ("being introduced last year"or something like that). But I am on vacation and for some unknown reason I didn't pack my WC3 novel and can't check.
Allow me.:D

I need to do a more thorough search but the only reference to the T-Bolt's age I'm seeing is a little broad notice of it being, "old."

Page 18 excerpt:
"When the wing went into combat, Blair planned to be flying with Gold Squadron in the cockpit of one of those steady and reliable old fighters."

I'll do some more skimming but that's all I see from a general glance.
 

Quarto

Unknown Enemy
Yeah, I did a quick check yesterday, and found the same thing. I also couldn't find any indication of a recent age in the WC4 novel.
 

Iceblade

Admiral
Found out about the 2668 date and straight from the Loaf-o-pedia:

HF-66 comes from the Heart of the Tiger novel - it's later reprinted (sans H) in the Prophecy Gold manual. The 'internal data' you're thinking of is here: https://www.wcnews.com/articles/art52.shtml It's not reliable, though - it didn't appear in the game, and in several cases the fighters don't enter service for months (Hellcat) or years (Longbow and Excalibur) until after the game ended. The popular '2668' date for the Thunderbolt ended up being an incorrect assumption. The Wing Commander III Authorized Combat Guide notes that Colonel Hart flew them for 'six months, which was a long time in a war zone', or something similar... and we decided that must mean it was six months old. In retrospect that's highly inaccurate...

Already discussed. First appears in Wing Commander III (2669). The HotT novelization calls them "... steady and reliable old fighters." (18) Designation (F-66) suggests an appearance after the Sabre but well before the Excalibur. The Thunderbolt last appears in Secret Ops (2681).

It would seem that "skys" of the 2650s and 60s were filled with Rapiers and Hellcats, T-bolts and Sabres, Arrows and Epees and Ferrets, and even Longbows.
 
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Quarto

Unknown Enemy
It would seem that "skys" of the 2650s and 60s were filled with Rapiers and Hellcats, T-bolts and Sabres, Arrows and Epees and Ferrets, and even Longbows.
And my others, undoubtedly. In 2667, when SO2 and Academy take place, we see the F-95 Morningstar and F-97 Wraith first emerge (the latter as a digital simulation only). So, this means that between 2654 and 2667, Confed went through 53 fighter designations, from 44 to 97. By 2669, that number had gone up to 59, with the F-103 Excalibur most likely closing the tally of war-era fighters. There is no way of knowing how many of those designations were actually used, which of the used designations actually produced a prototype, and which of the prototypes actually went into production, and finally, how successful those fighters were and how long or how long they actually served. Nonetheless, it seems like we can safely assume that basically, there were dozens of different fighters in service during those 15 years, and there would be multiple fighter classes of each basic type serving simultaneously. We know so little, at the end of the day....
 

Mancubus

Rear Admiral
Since the topic is reactivated, I would like to share to pieces of trivia that may be related to general topic:
First - there was at least one case of fighter plane which while mass produced during a war, was almost completely abandoned and reassigned to backwater theatres during the later sage of the conflict - I mean of course the plane that won Battle of Britain, Hawker Hurricane. In 1940 Hurricanes formed around 60% of RAF fighters, but by 1943 most of remaining planes were flying in the far east, while former Hurricane squadrons moved to Spitfires, and production in Britain almost ceased .

The second is connected to designations - the Plane I have in mind is B50, which was in fact just a development variant of B29, and therefore a plane older than B36 and downright stone-age tech level compared to B46. I always thought that between F/A 76 designation and appearance in WCATV something similar happened to Longbow - although it is just a speculation.
 

SabreAce

Rear Admiral
The designations do tend to follow a progression through the games, but there are some oddballs. The F-designations go from the F-36 Hornet on up through the F-110 Wasp, and yet the Arrow is the F-27. We see only one P-type (the P-64 Ferret), so that means that Ferrets are some of the newest tech available to the player in WC2, or patrol fighters are designated from a different sequence than regular fighters. All things being equal, I'd wager it's the latter.

Bombers are a little stranger. Despite what I'd consider a major need in the war (especially as torpedoes and phase shields became common) for those kind of craft, there's very little progression in the designations. Raptors are A-14s, while Broadswords are A-17s (obviously, this was a call-out to the B-17, but we'll ignore that for the sake of in-universe talk). The highest we see before WC3 is the A-20 Banshee in Armada. By the time we're assigned to the Victory, we've got the F/A-76 Longbow. The -76 does fit somewhat with the other WC3 designations (HF-66 for the Thunderbolt, F-103 for the Excalibur) if used as a fighter number, but it's way out of bounds for what we see for the A numbers. Prophecy complicates that a little bit more with the TB-80 and TB-81 for the Devastator and Shrike, respectively. That would seem to imply there are a rather huge assortment of bombers we never see, or by the time of Prophecy, numbers are issued in relative sequence regardless of type. Which, in turn, doesn't fit in the slightest with the F-103 Excalibur flying several years before the Devastator...

Given the number of times designations have changed in the real world USAF/USN, it's entirely possible Confed did something similar at various times over the years. Plus, we can always just point to the likely real-life reasoning of "it has this number because it sounded cool to the designer", but where's the fun in that?
 

Quarto

Unknown Enemy
Since the topic is reactivated, I would like to share to pieces of trivia that may be related to general topic:

First - there was at least one case of fighter plane which while mass produced during a war, was almost completely abandoned and reassigned to backwater theatres during the later sage of the conflict - I mean of course the plane that won Battle of Britain, Hawker Hurricane. In 1940 Hurricanes formed around 60% of RAF fighters, but by 1943 most of remaining planes were flying in the far east, while former Hurricane squadrons moved to Spitfires, and production in Britain almost ceased .

The second is connected to designations - the Plane I have in mind is B50, which was in fact just a development variant of B29, and therefore a plane older than B36 and downright stone-age tech level compared to B46. I always thought that between F/A 76 designation and appearance in WCATV something similar happened to Longbow - although it is just a speculation.

Absolutely. Aircraft production historically has always been messy. An even better example than the Hurricane is the Fairey Swordfish, still in use after its intended successor, the Albacore, had already been discontinued (and the Albacore was better... it just wasn't sufficiently better to bother with). And designations, while intended to make sense of things, frequently mess things up as well. Not to mention that sometimes, ships get re-designated, and even whole new designation systems are introduced. This is actually the case in the 2650s in WC.

The designations do tend to follow a progression through the games, but there are some oddballs. The F-designations go from the F-36 Hornet on up through the F-110 Wasp, and yet the Arrow is the F-27. We see only one P-type (the P-64 Ferret), so that means that Ferrets are some of the newest tech available to the player in WC2, or patrol fighters are designated from a different sequence than regular fighters. All things being equal, I'd wager it's the latter.

I do believe the Confederation Handbook mentions the Ferret being used before the war - although I do not remember if the designation is used, so it may or may not be the same Ferret. My Confed Handbook is on the other end of the world, so I can't check.

In regards to the Arrow... a number of designations were made up by Eder or me for Standoff, and became canon when used in the Arena manual. I am not completely certain (...it has been years), but I believe the Arrow was one such case (the Raptor and the Gladius certainly were). If that was indeed our doing, then I'm sure the rationale would have been the fact that the Arrow is seen in the Academy cartoon, and is already being used far behind the front lines at a training base. So, the Arrow variants we see in Armada and WC3 are completely new variants of an existing design. Why is it still being used, instead of a new design? Well, how should I know? :)

Bombers are a little stranger. Despite what I'd consider a major need in the war (especially as torpedoes and phase shields became common) for those kind of craft, there's very little progression in the designations. Raptors are A-14s, while Broadswords are A-17s (obviously, this was a call-out to the B-17, but we'll ignore that for the sake of in-universe talk). The highest we see before WC3 is the A-20 Banshee in Armada. By the time we're assigned to the Victory, we've got the F/A-76 Longbow. The -76 does fit somewhat with the other WC3 designations (HF-66 for the Thunderbolt, F-103 for the Excalibur) if used as a fighter number, but it's way out of bounds for what we see for the A numbers. Prophecy complicates that a little bit more with the TB-80 and TB-81 for the Devastator and Shrike, respectively. That would seem to imply there are a rather huge assortment of bombers we never see, or by the time of Prophecy, numbers are issued in relative sequence regardless of type. Which, in turn, doesn't fit in the slightest with the F-103 Excalibur flying several years before the Devastator...

Bombers are interesting, because the Broadsword is an example of a fairly oldish bomber receiving a new designation. The Broadsword is mentioned in the Confed Handbook, and - like the Movie Rapier - it has a CF-something designation numer. So, when it comes to WC2, it clearly has been re-designated. I figure it was a similar story with the Raptor, which also pre-dates the war. I really would have preferred for A designations to disappear again by the time WC3 comes around, with the assumption that any such ships still in operation were re-designated (again), this time to F/A. But, it seems that at least as late as Armada, the A designations were alive and well, because Arena makes one up for the Banshee.

Incidentally, while the Longbow seems like a reference to the F/A-18 Hornet (this time, not by virtue of the number but of the double designation), the Thunderbolt is more intriguing. What did the creators have in mind? Is it simply a completely new designation intended to denote a Heavy Fighter? Or did the creators actually know what they're doing, in the sense of understanding the US system of aircraft designations? If it's the latter case, then the HF designation would denote a fighter with a secondary role of search & rescue - which actually makes sense (but in that case, the Sabre should have been HF as well).

As for Prophecy's TB... yeesh. The creators almost certainly wanted to highlight the great difference between ordinary fighters and torpedo bombers. And the original Devastator had been designated TBD. But how is it explained in-universe? Well... I actually find myself wondering, is it conceivable at all that their numbers would be a part of the ordinary sequence of fighter designations? That would be very intriguing, because it would imply that both were at least conceived (if not necessarily built) during the war era. In such a variant, perhaps they would originally have been designated F/A, and then changed to TB after the war. Alternatively, it could simply be that for reasons only understood by themselves, they chose to introduce the new TB designation series with number 80 - in that case, there simply never had been any earlier TB-designated ships. Maybe they just didn't want low-numbered TBs flying alongside high-numbered Fs? I'm sure any number of other, equally silly explanations could be conceived, though :).
 

Mancubus

Rear Admiral
Again the real world example, at least one US military airplane got it's designation solely to mess with anyone unauthorized learning about it while it was still a secret...
 

Iceblade

Admiral
My (speculative) thinking on the Longbow in WCA is it is either a shuttle/S&R design that was converted (and redesignated) to a fighter/bomber shortly before the WC 2 period (for any number of reasons like a need for a cheap fighter-bomber for light carriers) or that it was an old bomber craft that got an upgrade and redesignation like the Broadsword only at a later point in time. Although it is a weird one given that most fighter bombers get the A designation (like the Banshee, Gladius, and Raptor... although the Sabre uses just F) By the way, what is the real-world US difference between A fighters and F/A fighters?
 

SabreAce

Rear Admiral
I do believe the Confederation Handbook mentions the Ferret being used before the war - although I do not remember if the designation is used, so it may or may not be the same Ferret. My Confed Handbook is on the other end of the world, so I can't check.

I think you're right, as I believe there were a pair of Ferrets involved in the TCS Iason being destroyed.

In regards to the Arrow... a number of designations were made up by Eder or me for Standoff, and became canon when used in the Arena manual. I am not completely certain (...it has been years), but I believe the Arrow was one such case (the Raptor and the Gladius certainly were). If that was indeed our doing, then I'm sure the rationale would have been the fact that the Arrow is seen in the Academy cartoon, and is already being used far behind the front lines at a training base. So, the Arrow variants we see in Armada and WC3 are completely new variants of an existing design. Why is it still being used, instead of a new design? Well, how should I know? :)

I hadn't realized a lot of the info originated (at least, canonically), in Star*Solider - figured it must have been in some of the novels, since I've never managed to pick them up. Much as with all the other stuff they did it with, definitely a cool thing on the part of the designers to incorporate as much of the fan work into the canon as possible.

Maybe this is where the F/A-18 Hornet comparison could come into play, in the form of the Super Hornet. They kept the F/A-18 designation to help get the funding approved, but she's basically a brand new bird that's just based on the older Hornets. Could the Arrow V that we fly in WC3 be a "Super Arrow", so to speak? That might also go to explain why there's an Arrow that's a different size/different weapons in Armada. Perhaps the Armada or Academy variants could be the Arrow IV (or Arrow III, even, for the animated ship).

Incidentally, while the Longbow seems like a reference to the F/A-18 Hornet (this time, not by virtue of the number but of the double designation), the Thunderbolt is more intriguing. What did the creators have in mind? Is it simply a completely new designation intended to denote a Heavy Fighter? Or did the creators actually know what they're doing, in the sense of understanding the US system of aircraft designations? If it's the latter case, then the HF designation would denote a fighter with a secondary role of search & rescue - which actually makes sense (but in that case, the Sabre should have been HF as well).

Couple of potential explanations:
-It's possible that the Thunderbolt we fly is, in fact, the actual HF version, and there's a standard F-66 version out there as well.
-HF became Confed's designation of choice for heavy fighters, and Sabres were retroactively termed HF-57s.

That would be very intriguing, because it would imply that both were at least conceived (if not necessarily built) during the war era. In such a variant, perhaps they would originally have been designated F/A, and then changed to TB after the war.

I have to admit, I rather like the idea of WCP's bomber duo being war-time designs. I can just picture that design meeting...

Admiral: We need something that can handle these massive Kilrathi ships. Broadswords just aren't cut out for Hakagas and Hvar'kanns. What have you got for me?
Designer: ...um, we thought we'd take the Concordia and make her fighter-size...

By the way, what is the real-world US difference between A fighters and F/A fighters?
A stands for attack. The only A-designated plane on the books right now is the A-10 Thunderbolt II. F/A stands for multi-role craft that are both fighters and attack, like the Hornet. The issue with said designation is that pretty much every F-series plane in both the USAF and Navy are designed to fly air to ground just as much as they fly air to air. The F/A designation always felt a bit of a hold-over from the late 70s/early 80s, when the other fighters of the time (F-15/F-16/F-14) were primarily air-to-air machines, so recognizing the Hornet for its intended dual role made sense. Since then, when most every fighter is multi-role in one way or another, the designation has fallen by the wayside (though not entirely - the vaunted F-22 Raptor was rumored to be the F/A-22 at one point, before reverting to a more standard F-22A setup).
 

Iceblade

Admiral
Maybe the Longbow became TB-76 during the post war period (keeping its numerical designation), so when the Devastator and Shrike were under development, they received the TB-80/81 designations - probably after several experimental variants.

Couple of potential explanations:
-It's possible that the Thunderbolt we fly is, in fact, the actual HF version, and there's a standard F-66 version out there as well.
-HF became Confed's designation of choice for heavy fighters, and Sabres were retroactively termed HF-57s.

By 2081, the HF designation is gone implying explanation one.
 
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Quarto

Unknown Enemy
My (speculative) thinking on the Longbow in WCA is it is either a shuttle/S&R design that was converted (and redesignated) to a fighter/bomber shortly before the WC 2 period (for any number of reasons like a need for a cheap fighter-bomber for light carriers) or that it was an old bomber craft that got an upgrade and redesignation like the Broadsword only at a later point in time. Although it is a weird one given that most fighter bombers get the A designation (like the Banshee, Gladius, and Raptor... although the Sabre uses just F) By the way, what is the real-world US difference between A fighters and F/A fighters?

It is certainly conceivable that the Longbow had previously been designed for a different purpose. There is no way of determining this from existing knowledge, unfortunately. But certainly, the F/A designation of the real-world Hornet might help provide some clues. Basically, the Hornet had initially been designed in two versions, the F-18 and the A-18. Both shared the same designation number (from the F sequence), but the A version would have logically been the successor of the Navy's A-6 Intruder and A-7 Corsair - both Vietnam-era aircraft that had relatively limited anti-air capacity (even though the A-7 was developed from the F-8 Crusader). The big difference between the F-18 and A-18, as Wikipedia tells me, was the avionics package - seemingly a small difference, but if you consider that at the time these systems were not as capable as they are now, you will realise that having avionics devised for ground attack probably prevented good air interception systems from being included, and vice versa. However, technological progress eventually allowed both roles to be served by a single avionics package, so the F and A versions were unified into the single F/A-18 that could serve either role depending on weapons loadout. I'm sure there was also some encouragement in the form of ever-present threats of budget cuts to make this decision. An interesting consequence was that this effectively spelled the end of A-designated aircraft on US carriers - there was a very expensive attempt to develop the A-12 Avenger II, but it really got nowhere and finally was cancelled. Today, the F-35, which is intended to ultimately replace the F/A-18 (as I understand), doesn't even bother with an A in its designation.

This story also incidentally brought up the evolution of the F-8 Crusader into the A-7 Corsair II - so that certainly could be a clue about the F/A-76 Longbow. It didn't even have to be called a Longbow before - it would actually make much more sense for the Longbow name to be introduced after the Crossbow (as it was in the game development history, of course). Interestingly, the Longbow is a logical development of the Broadsword-Crossbow line of development - the Crossbow had sacrificed the side turrets and instead had more guns up front; it also had better speed. The Longbow has a very similar array of weaponry, but in terms of speed, takes the next step of incorporating afterburners (although its non-AB max speed goes back down to the Broadsword's 320 KPS - can't have everything).

There is, by the way, another very interesting bit of confusion regarding the use of the F/A designation in the WC universe, namely that it seems that the A designation does not relate to capship-striking capacity as we might initially think. The Sabre and Morningstar both have anti-capship capability, and yet they are not F/A. On the other hand, I just noticed that - of all ships - the Tigershark in WCP is designated F/A. And obviously, the Tigershark cannot strike capships. But then again, by this point in time, the heavies are designated TB rather than A or even F/A. So, clearly, even the meaning behind these designations cannot be assumed to be stable.

I think you're right, as I believe there were a pair of Ferrets involved in the TCS Iason being destroyed.

I hadn't realized a lot of the info originated (at least, canonically), in Star*Solider - figured it must have been in some of the novels, since I've never managed to pick them up. Much as with all the other stuff they did it with, definitely a cool thing on the part of the designers to incorporate as much of the fan work into the canon as possible.
Yeah, Star*Soldier gave a lot of these little details to the universe. It's certainly one of the most valuable manuals in this regard.

Oh, and I was able to check the Confed Handbook (like many other WC-related books, you can download it off Pix's Origin Adventures... I'm sure that's quite illegal, but hey, I own the paper version, just in a different country :p ). It does indeed have Ferrets in the Iason incident, and even has Paladin flying one of them and getting taken prisoner by the Kilrathi (an awful bit of world-building - it's just so unnecessary to have Paladin involved in *everything*). Obviously, the writer of the Handbook would have intended these to be the same Ferrets we saw in WC2, although technically, their designation is not mentioned, so it is conceivable that some future WC product (not that there ever will be any) would make it a different Ferret.

Maybe this is where the F/A-18 Hornet comparison could come into play, in the form of the Super Hornet. They kept the F/A-18 designation to help get the funding approved, but she's basically a brand new bird that's just based on the older Hornets. Could the Arrow V that we fly in WC3 be a "Super Arrow", so to speak? That might also go to explain why there's an Arrow that's a different size/different weapons in Armada. Perhaps the Armada or Academy variants could be the Arrow IV (or Arrow III, even, for the animated ship).
It certainly is possible. WC2 actually already makes use of the "Super Hornet" concept by introducing the P-64D Super Ferret in SO1 - although clearly, the changes there are nowhere near comparable to the evolution of the Hornet. The Super Ferret is basically a Ferret with a pair of missiles. But hey, who knows how much the Ferret needed to be modified to allow those missiles to be mounted and operated?

Couple of potential explanations:
-It's possible that the Thunderbolt we fly is, in fact, the actual HF version, and there's a standard F-66 version out there as well.
-HF became Confed's designation of choice for heavy fighters, and Sabres were retroactively termed HF-57s.
Well, the Excalibur is also designated a heavy fighter, but does not get the HF designation. In any case, the first explanation would make a lot more sense, particularly if we consider that S&R capabilities in WC2 came down to having a tractor beam in a rear turret (note: this is not the only form of S&R we see in the WC universe, with the Academy cartoon in particular adding other options). I can certainly imagine the Thunderbolt originally not having a rear turret, and receiving this turrets as part of the modifications to adapt it to the HF role. In this variant, the Sabre would not be HF-57 because it had the turret from the start as part of its design, just as the Broadsword and Crossbow did. Why does the HF-66 change to just plain F-66 by 2681? Well, perhaps by this point, the turret-less Thunderbolts are long-retired, and the H got dropped just to simplify things. All this is pure conjecture, of course.

I have to admit, I rather like the idea of WCP's bomber duo being war-time designs. I can just picture that design meeting...
Admiral: We need something that can handle these massive Kilrathi ships. Broadswords just aren't cut out for Hakagas and Hvar'kanns. What have you got for me?
Designer: ...um, we thought we'd take the Concordia and make her fighter-size...
Technically, there's nothing new about the plasma gun on the Devastator - we see lighter plasma weapons on the Longbow, and we can even buy a plasma gun in Privateer :). Regardless, it certainly would be logical in light of the advances in capital ships to start developing a more powerful gun to reduce reliance on torpedoes. A bomber built around a heavy plasma gun seems a sensible concept. And it's equally sensible to imagine it encountering all kinds of problems in development, and the project eventually being suspended or cannned. However, it's far from a solid explanation, there are many major issues with it.
 
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Iceblade

Admiral
So the Longbow could be stated as being built (or redesigned on an older craft) as a mult-role fighter rather than a largely single purpose craft (like bomber or dogfighter).

The designation prefix may actually refer to the intended design purpose like the A for strike/bomber craft while F is intended more for dogfighters, and F/A is a more general (and perhaps rare) pre-fix for any kind of multi-role craft. The Raptor is an old design (it is either early war or pre-war and may have had another designation) that seems best suited for anti-capship work during periods of "weak" phase shields. The Sabre on the other hand seems quite suited for fighter combat with the added benefit of being able to mount torpedoes with whatever sensors/computer parts needed to use them.

Of course, a total war situation like this would force carrier wings to stretch these craft beyond their original designated roles - e.g. Broadswords as jump-capable scouts.

...

Would be great if we had some clue why the designers went with TB-80.
 
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Farbourne

Rear Admiral
Here's a (perhaps crazy) explanation for the HF-66...

Is it possible that it was HF because it was originally developed by someone else (i.e. not Confed), and just adopted by the Confed Navy? Early on we see "CF" for "Confederation fighter (presumably), and "KF" for "Kilrathi fighter". Maybe there's some Border Worlds or Landreich-like organization (or maybe even another species like the Firekka), that starts with an H and is allied with Confed. Maybe they developed the Thunderbolt, and it was so effective a design that Confed just bought (or commandeered) a whole bunch of them.
 

Mekt-Hakkikt

Mpanty's bane
Allow me.:D

I need to do a more thorough search but the only reference to the T-Bolt's age I'm seeing is a little broad notice of it being, "old."

Page 18 excerpt:
"When the wing went into combat, Blair planned to be flying with Gold Squadron in the cockpit of one of those steady and reliable old fighters."

I'll do some more skimming but that's all I see from a general glance.

By all means, thanks! So much for trusting in Quarto's (okok, or mine :-p) memory.
 

YCDTD

Commodore
Okay, so TCS Victory was an old ship with a bunch of old , possibly hastily upgraded, fighters.

Except maybe the Longbow.
 
It sucks that no updated Raptors were available. If we were able to pick ships at will based on rank in WCI, I would mostly fly the Raptor, with switches to the other ships when the mechanics needed time for repairs or upgrades. If I wanted a challenge ("Hard mode"), I would go to the Scimitar.
 

Star Rider

Rear Admiral
Halcyon was the Wing Commander so what he said was the order of things. The Highest Rank that could be achieved in WC1 was Major. Once we play the Secret Mission addons the highest rank that is obtainable is Lt Colonel (Silver Oak Leafs).

Halcyon at the end of Operation Crusade on the winning path was to be promoted to the rank of General and bumped upstairs to tactical. Blair was supposed to make Wing Commander but... it didn't turn out that way.

Now what I could see when we hit the rank of Major/LT Colonel is that every Squadron on the ship trying to get their hands on us since we're The Hero of the Vega Campaign and Thor's Hammer.

By the time we get to the Concordia, Angel is calling the shots and we've been disgraced by Tolwyn. So we're trying to claw our way back into relevance. We're lucky any of The Concordia's Squadrons are willing to let us fly with them. Spirit being the exception since she requests us right off the bat in Niven to be on her wing.
 

YCDTD

Commodore
Halcyon was the Wing Commander so what he said was the order of things. The Highest Rank that could be achieved in WC1 was Major. Once we play the Secret Mission addons the highest rank that is obtainable is Lt Colonel (Silver Oak Leafs).

Halcyon at the end of Operation Crusade on the winning path was to be promoted to the rank of General and bumped upstairs to tactical. Blair was supposed to make Wing Commander but... it didn't turn out that way.

Now what I could see when we hit the rank of Major/LT Colonel is that every Squadron on the ship trying to get their hands on us since we're The Hero of the Vega Campaign and Thor's Hammer.

By the time we get to the Concordia, Angel is calling the shots and we've been disgraced by Tolwyn. So we're trying to claw our way back into relevance. We're lucky any of The Concordia's Squadrons are willing to let us fly with them. Spirit being the exception since she requests us right off the bat in Niven to be on her wing.
Respectfully, I'm not sure what your post has to do with this thread.
 
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