Lens of History (68): Tactical Alternatives

STEC Archives, Print Document Division
Curator signature: [CLASSIFIED]
Format:  Print Media – DECLASSIFIED under [REDACTED], [REDACTED]
Special Documents Division – [REDACTED]
Time (if known): [CLASSIFIED, pre-war]

Editor’s Note: 

While shipgirls can generally be counted upon to resemble something of their historical counterparts, every so often opportunities for alternative “configurations” appear out of circumstance.

Below, we’ve attached two viewpoints that are quite divergent in how these alternative configurations fits within STEC’s mission. What do you think, dear reader?

Perspective 1: Senior level commanding officer, STEC operations

I’ve reviewed the data thus far and you can say, color me impressed!

I think here’s my take on it specifically. Yes, we like to laugh at the “crazy” ideas throughout naval history. Yes, we know that for instance, hybrid aviation cruisers really never would have worked out. We also have good evidence that the conversions that our historic opponents attempted ended up being fairly mediocre (and costly). 

However, I think the bigger question to consider here is: towards what reason and what purpose would we consider an “alternative” configuration? 

Better question: what does this “alternative” configuration offer us?

I’ll answer that second question first. I think I’m looking at this set of gear and going, you know, this sounds exactly like the IAS that they came up with in the 80s, albeit in the context of the Abyssal War.

Let’s look at the operator first. We have a shipgirl whose expertise is in close quarters offensive support. While our doctrine prefers engagements at optimal distances, STEC is now increasingly recognizing the necessity of having CQC specialists to handle highly specialized threats designed to combat our strengths. 

“Sir, but the proposed conversion gives her an air wing compartment! What the hell good is that going to do with such a limited amount of aerial assets?”

That’s the thing. I’m thinking we don’t have to have her load up planes. Remember that prototype cargo helo that R&D came up with half a year ago? I’m throwing the ball back into your court and asking if it’d be possible to reconfigure those to carry area denial weaponry. Failing that, how about ASW? I know during my tenure running the subgirls division that we’re always looking for ways to support our operations beneath the surface, too. 

This hypothetical set-up would be loaded up for close quarters combat. Pare down the anti-air and add more surface/ASW. We don’t need much range on the helicopters either – just enough to drop mines or other nasties to force Abyssals towards a specific area or else to stop them from heading to specific areas. Range would therefore also be a non-issue – we’d never send her out in this configuration unless it’s to support other operations. 

At least, that’s what I’m thinking. Do you think this sounds doable?

Perspective 2: Shipgirl acting in an advisory role, STEC operations

Thanks for the report and sorry for taking a while to get back. In short, I’m open to the idea, but I’m not sold on this on the simple grounds of efficiency and expertise. You’re free to try to convince me next week at the field trials.  

Shipgirls are always our bottleneck in terms of force projection and force development, and I think we all know just how increases in core competencies such as gunnery could result in remarkable improvements in our fight against the Abyssals. I’m not opposed to the idea of offering us more tools in the proverbial toolkit, but I am concerned about whether or not we could have the shipgirl in question properly and efficiently trained. I’m not one to draw on history in regards to one’s performance, but I think it’s something that we ought to keep in mind given her reputation for being unorthodox. 

The very nature of an “alternative” configuration implies that it is something that is auxiliary to her primary loadout. Currently, her performance reports are middle-of-the-pack, neither exceptionally well nor exceptionally poor. This indicates to me significant room for improvement. Thus, in my opinion we should strive to have her improve her skills in a more targeted way, rather than having her branch into something else which she may or not excel at.  

As an alternative, I am open to a sort of trial period where we have her specialize into this role – provided that we anticipate, and perhaps purposefully direct events such that that this may result in her “standard” configuration in the future. 

Or, if you can convince myself and STEC that there is a specific need for this form of warfare, then we ought to purposefully build supporting infrastructure to facilitate this sort of endeavor. I will freely admit, yes, from my personal perspective, I think cruiser girls are at a very weird spot. As STEC’s shipgirl roster expands, it is increasingly difficult to find roles in which their equipment and expertise would really excel in. So let me revise my initial comment with the following caveat: I am willing to reconsider, particularly in the context of cruiser girl “strategic visioning.”

How does that sound?