Rebel Squadrons

Attention All Pilots: Fictional Acknowledgement of Squadrons

By COM David Vaughan
Unit: The Rebel Squadrons
General Announcement, Oct 27, 2007
Back to Articles

Greetings, pilots. ":)

You may have noticed the return to a usage of squadron names within missions. Many systems have been attempted in past ITODs, from having the fleet name as the player flight group for neutrality's sake, to having squadron names cycled through arbitrarily, or even, as was trialed in the VSG for the first half of VSG Tour 1, using operation-specific names separate from any squadron names in use.

Each of these systems have their own pros and cons, however none of them really feel particularly satisfying. At the suggestion of Admiral Falcion (okay, at the suggestion of Kaz :P) the idea of including more of an emphasis of squadrons in current RS fiction has been looked into. Admittedly a squadron focus has been lacking in the Unified ITOD up until now as we simply didn't know how to treat squadrons in the RS-wide fiction without favouring certain squadrons over others unfairly.

As of the current missions across the PSG and VSG, we have now established systems that reward squadrons for high participation in their group's missions with in-universe recognition by inclusion in the GDF and SSF narratives, respectively. Look out for this in the upcoming VSG/RID108 and GDF102 narratives. So while the VSG will be the testbed for this in one week's time, PSG pilots will have the entire duration of GDF101 to try and ensure their squadron's prominence in the next narrative by ascertaining the highest participation levels in the PSG.

The idea for both groups is essentially the same, however there are some logistical differences between the two, as the PSG and VSG are not completely similar groups. The VSG, being an equal merge between Renegade and Intrepid group, was more of a mutual reconstruction, which resulted in the development of a VSG-wide merit system that helped level the playing field of both platforms supported by the VSG. This merit system will be the primary means of dictating squadron recognition in the SSF narratives. The PSG, being two very different platform types without an overarching merit system as strong as the VSG's, will use a less holistic, more platform-specific approach.

With both systems, however, there are several steps used when determining squadron ranks. The first part is looking at which squadron has the best turnout (in the VSG that's using merits, in the PSG that's looking at which squadrons had the most pilots fly). If there are any ties between squadrons, we then break it down further by looking at of those tied squadrons which had more pilots participating in the 'first fly report' programme. Then, if the tied squadrons all had the same number of pilots posting first fly reports, we finally get down to looking at which squadrons had the best scores for the mission.

There are also some slightly different scenarios where alternative rules come into play, such as solo reconnaissance missions (where, fictionally, most of the pilots in the starfighter group are performing recon patrols, but only one pilot will stumble into the recon zone that all pilots fly in the mission). In this sense we might take the first eligible pilot who reported a first-run report of the mission, or some other variation, but these are only special cases, because most missions aren't solo flights, and are instead combat operations.

Below are more specific explanations of how the systems work with each group, so feel free to skip past the section that does not pertain to you.

Vigilance Starfighter Group

This is perhaps the most straight-forward of the two systems, and was developed first. The idea is quite simply as follows: the squadrons of the VSG are ranked by merit points. Then the two missions are looked at, and the most prestigious, dangerous or important positions are handed out to the highest merit ranking squadrons. As a point of example, in VSG106 --- the Battle of Rebano --- Ragnarok Squadron were the highest-ranking squadron in merits, followed by Dragon Squadron. These two top squadrons were given the player positions in the respective missions.

As Ragnarok Squadron were the best squadron in VSG106, they were given the most dangerous position flying TIEs through the combat zone. Dragon Squadron were given the second-most-difficult/important job of intercepting the enemy reinforcements, to prevent them from crashing the party. The remainder of the VSG squadrons were assigned locations in the battle respective of their merit standings (for example, an AI squadron fighting from the start of the mission is ranked higher than reinforcements arriving at the end, which is in turn higher than a squadron posted to protect home base while the mission is happening).

For VSG107, the squadron ranking order of VSG106 was carried forward into the VSG107 mission files just as placeholders; recognition for the squadron who performed the best in the previous mission. That means Ragnarok Squadron are pencilled in as the B-wings participating in the gutsy distraction strike against the Resilia atmospheric supply depot, while Dragon Squadron are spearheading the convoy raid at Hexos in X-wings.

However, once the results of VSG107 come in, it might be that Dragon Squadron are stationed back at the Selaris outpost during the action at Resilia and Hexos, and Ragnarok might not even be mentioned at all. It really depends on how well the squadrons have participated in the missions. At any rate, we'll find out in one week's time as to what squadrons were officially undertaking what roles where during the Battle of Hexos and Skirmish at Resilia, based on how well or poorly participation was.

Patriot Starfighter Group

The system employed for the PSG is very similar to the VSG's, however there are certain differences due to the different platform dynamic involved. While the two VSG platforms are essentially the same --- they're both platforms that can support all fighter types, for example --- the two platforms of the PSG are very different --- one always-Imperial group of fighters, and the other always-Republic group of fighters, with not much versatility allowed by the game engines.

Add to this the lack of a major PSG-wide merit system as the determinate for top squadron and top pilot, it has been decided to use a platform-specific, participation-based prime determinate. Instead of allocating squadrons PSG-wide to both of the platforms based on overall performance, we will instead be looking at each platform individually. If your squadron flew the best in the TIE platform, but came second in the X-wing platform, rather than officially being the reinforcements that arrived at the end of the X-wing mission, your squadron can have the more prestigious role of being the player group in the TIE mission.

You may note that for the GDF101 mission files we've taken the performance results of PBF712 and carried them forward for the placeholder squadron names of the GDF101 missions. Green Squadron were the top performance squadron for PBF712T, and Gold Squadron were the top performance squadron for PBF712X.

Therefore, we've pencilled in a pilot from Gold Squadron as the tentative placeholder for the GDF101X reconnaissance mission. However, that's only a placeholder, and if at the close of GDF101X it turns out another squadron have the best (or maybe earliest, depending on what factors we use since it's a solo mission) performance, then that's what we'll officially go with instead of Gold.

Also, based on the participation levels of PBF712T, we've carried forward Green Squadron as the tentative placeholder player squadron of the GDF101T convoy protection mission. But as already stated, that's just a placeholder, and whichever squadrons rank first and second in the TIE mission will be the player squadron in TIE Interceptors, and the reinforcements in TIE Fighters, respectively.

Well, hopefully that explains the concepts I was hoping to. If you have any questions, please direct them to me and I will be happy to answer them. And remember: if you want your squadrons to receive the fictional recognition they deserve, then make sure the pilots of your squadron all fly the mission, get their first-run reports, and do so as quickly as possible. If you achieve all three of those objectives, then your squadron is bound to be receiving a lot more narrative-time than the rest who don't perform as actively.

Well, that's all from me for now. Have fun with GDF101, Patriot pilots, and enjoy your week-long break, Vigilance pilots.


Gen. David Vaughan
Logistics Officer


There are no comments for this news post yet.