pened next. The second Jalthi moved to engage Dibbles. Between the two of them, they blew Dibbles out of space.
"Sometimes you've got to throw the book away." I hear this from pilots both young and old... and sometimes, maybe, it's true. But was it true in this case? No. Dibbles didn't have to throw the book away. He wanted a kill, another bright spon on his personal record, and to obtain it he endangered the mission objective.
What were the results of this decision? The carrier lost two pilots with several years' worth of
|combat experience. The carrier's commander had to write the appropriate letters of condolence. The overall strike mission damaged, but did not finish off, the destroyer objective... and while it is not conclusive that the presence of Skinner and Dibbles would have resulted in Rathtak's destruction, it is at least possible. Last of all, this error cost the Thiger's Claw a great morale-booster: Dibbles was the writer and artist of Hornet's Nest, the wonderful comic-strip which appeared in every issue of Claw Marks for the last two years-Terran.
The "Book" you're trained to go by was written for a reason. It's a good book, one worth following. It's worth reviewing now.
Basic Tactics: A Review
Let's go over the basic, Academy-standard tactivs you're supposed to follow in the field.
Here is the simplist thing in the world to remember - if you're willing to remember.
Wingleader Objective: Accomplish the mission objective.
Wingman Objective: Protect your wingleader. If he is eliminated, you must accomplish the mission objective yourself.
There's not much room for variation here. Oh, a seasoned wingleader may decide to trade roles with his trainee wingman, or he might decide to send his wingman to protect a buddy who's being swarmed, while he, the wingleader, goes after another swarm. But in all these cases, nobody is solo. If the two trade roles, we still have a wingleader and a wingman. If the two split up to