Silent Service: Subgirl Raiding Tactics

Tautog’s busier than usual these days with behind-the-scenes website upgrades and repairs, so I’ll be talking today with Katya.

We actually do this mission often together so yes, let’s. How should we start? Talk about history? Also is this “in-universe” or “out-of-universe”?

This part is “out,” once we start, just imagine you’re teaching the new subgirls.

Da. Let’s begin.

It’s kind of a custom at this point for us to talk about STEC shipgirl tactics and how it relates to their historical counterparts first, prior to explaining the theory behind how we operate. This is because while we’re still technically a naval force – *laughs* – and the vast majority of our threat originates in the sea.

When Argo and I use the term “raid tactics,” though, it is important to make distinction between what we shipgirls do and the role in which our historical analogue or counterparts played. Often involving real submarines, we think of either naval commerce raiding or special operations.

Subgirls, however, are a little different. For us, when Commander Yin tells us a raid operation is in the works, it means that we are planning to hit an Abyssal target, and once we eliminate the target, the raid team withdraws immediately.

Avalon has enabled us some opportunities to study other defense plans which tells us what works well and what works less well. Mike – er, Commander Yin’s take is that trying to fit too many objectives on a single sortie should now be avoided in light of our current numbers. So, what this means is that once the raid team girls finishes the job, the analysis team moves in and do the usual data gathering and post-ops mop-up in after.

Previously, we would try to have the one attack team doing both. It works, but our new methods are better. It’s easier on us shipgirls and yields better results overall.

I also want to add that a raid like this is not something you see in movies where the handsome stubbed hero-man steals a helicopter and goes in to take on bad guys all by himself. While subgirl-based raids occur regularly, we always have a lot of other supporting elements on standby. Commander Yin’s style is cautious, but this is also why his track record has been spotless.

So, in this example. Let’s say we are attacking an Abyssal installation. Simple two-tier structure comprising of the structure itself and the below-water portion (think of this like a dock for Abyssal units). The primary raid team members would be Katya and myself. Narwhal and Pantera and Nautilus would be our backup.

Usually, against a non-hardened target, we’ll just get within shelling range and blow it up. Some Abyssal targets, however, are “hardened” – this generally means that they have some combination of alarm systems and shields to nullify a number of attacks. You could still pound it to dust using shipgirl weaponry, but in this case it is better to send a team in.

Familiarization is important for our combat expertise. Not to mention, some of these hardened points provide useful details on how the Abyssals operate. It is harder to gather data when you are shelling at normal combat range.

In our case though, we specialize our loadouts for these types of missions. For our shipgirl equipment, we tend to bring a few rounds designed to hit fortifications – equivalents of “bunker-buster” type of shells, a waste against a smaller Abyssal but well-worth the effort on a fortified beacon. Obviously, we’re never without our personal weapons, but in this case, we tend to bring more ammo because in the more heavily defended areas there tend to be anti-shipgirl Abyssals lurking about. You know, the ones with arms and legs instead of looking like something out of the seafood brunch tank, haha.

Normal submarines really can’t do much against fortifications, but normal submarines also can’t rig up their torpedoes and use them as demolition charges. I mean, we also bring the special fairy teams, too – a lot of them are itching for fights like these.

Plus, you know, we could probably just punch it apart. Shipgirls having shipgirl strength and all. That being said, I’ve done of these and I don’t think I’ve ever gotten close to running out of ammo. So…

The actual operation happens pretty fast, since most of these aren’t on fortifications, but rather on isolated Abyssal units. During this time, the analysis team is on stand-by, ready to deal with any surprises the Abyssals throw at us. This team generally has more shipgirls than the actual raid group, but is similarly armed and combat ready. The only thing different is that the fairy specialists they carry are likely to be non-frontline combat varieties since their primary objective is to act during post-operations.

That’s not counting the actual support teams lurking about, air cover, space cover, other subgirls, the list go on. A good portion of these are a part of STEC’s regular assets deployed during routine “sweeps” against Abyssal units, and in exceptional cases, we’ll put as many girls we can on the job to make sure the mission succeeds.

Now you are probably wondering: doesn’t this mean any shipgirl can do the job. Yes in most cases. We subgirls are particularly good at multi-layered Abyssal installations where there’s a lot of value in bringing someone who can fight above and below the water line at the same time. Anything that is deep water such as the fortified Abyssal beacons, that is our job exclusively.

In fact, I know we like to think of them as either stupid mindless beasts or mustache-twirling Saturday-morning cartoon villains foiled by the brilliance of shipgirls on a weekly basis, but the reality is that the Abyssals are quite methodical at accomplishing their goals. It’s a lot harder for them to set up underwater fortifications, but at the same time, it’s nearly impossible for the conventional military to do much against them beneath the waves.

And, without specialized equipment, sending non-subgirl shipgirls underwater is a bit like sending in a tank into an urban environment. Not the best use of their skills, you know.

Oh come on, you know our outfits are intrinsically linked to us, so if the other girls want to gear up for underwater combat all they have to do is imagine themselves in a bikini, right?

I’m talking about stuff like the torpedo tubes and sonar. Wouldn’t make sense to train the other girls on those when there’s no inherent capacity. Plus, they have other equipment to master.


W-well. Since the DeeDee girls do specialize in torpedo warfare, maybe it wouldn’t be too much trouble to do so. Maury and Tasha are pretty fast underwater, right?

Hah, now we’re off topic.

Yes. Yes we are. *laughs* Let’s stop here.