Mass Effect/AEC: Asari Military Doctrine (2)


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Excerpt from Modern Galactic War by Paul Malthus, 3rd Edition , Made available for Extranet Scholastic Use by  The Institute of War and Diplomacy, Vancouver Metroplex, North American Union, Earth, 2190 (1st Edition published by Banabar Books in 2184).

The Asari Fleet

Under the supervision of the asari High Command, the asari fleet is the one conventionally organized military force in asari space. Pre-Invasion,  the asari fleet was the most powerful naval force in the galaxy. The turians had larger numbers, but ton per ton the average asari unit outclasses any rival under the same classification. The asari built their capital ships to outgun, outfight and outlast any single rival. According to a well known proverb among salarian engineers, “The asari love redundancy. Where anyone else would put in one backup, they put two, where you put two, they put three, and where you built three, they install five.” This layered approach to ship building results in ships of legendary resilience in the face of enemy fire. Couple that with superior sensors, firepower and crew training and your average asari warship is second to none among Citadel races. On average an asari capital ship has a service life of 60-70 years, almost double that of their counterparts of other Citadel races.

Due to their elegant and powerful design the primary role of these vessels is not combat but to show the flag. The idea behind the deployment of such vessels is to convince a would be aggressor to chose diplomacy over war. When diplomacy fails, asari ships are more than capable of taking the fight to the enemy. In 846 CE, a large krogan pirate fleet stumbled across the asari cruiser Artemisia in the Vamshi system of the Armstrong Nebula. After an hour long engagement, the Artemisia destroyed three krogran cruisers and damaged two others. Enraged by tenacity of the asari crew, Warlord Trask ordered the ship be captured as a price of war. However the skill and power of the commando units aboard held off the boarding parties for several more hours, enough time for a turian task force to jump into the fray and wipe out the pirates. As demonstrated by the anecdote above, all asari capital ships carry a large contingent of commandos that serve the role of marines (ship security, boarding parties and landing parties). These commandos often serve as the offensive ground force of the asari military, carrying a myriad of operations, usually of the covert kind, as befitting their training (see Asari Ground Forces). The training for asari going into the fleet is at least a decade long and it is carried out in academies across asari space. While not as varied as a Huntress training regime, the graduates from these academies are professionals with hundreds of hours of simulated combat/damage control drills and an intimate knowledge of ship systems. They first serve in smaller units (tenders, fighters squadrons, space stations, frigates) and after accruing another decade of experience in those postings they move up to cruisers and finally a posting on a dreadnought.

The role of front line force falls upon system defense fleets composed of frigate wolf packs backed by fighter squadrons based on battle stations spread around a system.Unlike other navies which deploy a cruiser as a command ship for frigate wolf packs, the asari rely on ships they call Arlathan or home/mother ships.  These ships are converted medium size FTL transports that carry supplies, spare parts and replacement personnel aboard. This gives the wolf packs greater range, mobility and endurance. With the introduction of the carrier into the galaxy, the asari introduced a new type of Arlathan-type ships that served as light carriers. Each carrier carries between one to two squadrons of strike aerospace fighters for self-defense and support of a given wolf pack. Like their commando counterparts, these fleets do not engage an enemy force directly. Instead they focus their attacks on soft targets like troop transports, fleet tenders and isolated warships. These harassing tactics force the enemy to spread their forces thin trying to secure all worlds within a system or several stars within a cluster. This in turn opens the enemy to pinpoint attacks by conventional fleet units which can destroy the enemy in detail.

While these tactics served the fleet well before and during the Reaper Invasion, the collapse of the asari society into civil war has left the fleet bereft of financial support. Many wolf packs have disbanded and the heavy asari fleet has taken an non-interventionist approach to the conflict. The bulk of the fleet now protects the Citadel and waits for the day when order returns to asari space.


2 comments on “Mass Effect/AEC: Asari Military Doctrine (2)

  1. I like your blogs on the races military doctrines, however i think it is repeatedly mentioned/implicated during the games/lore that the Turians have both the most powerful army and Navy among citadel races.


    • It is stated outright that the turians have the largest force with over 10,000 ships at their command. It is also said that the asari ships tend to be more powerful, on an individual basis, hence the “ton-for-ton” reference. On a one to one basis the asari have the strongest ships, but they do not have the largest fleet. Shepard says outright that it is “the most powerful military in the galaxy” which includes both branches, which is true if you consider that the asari weakness is that they do not have a large organized ground force as I stated in the post.


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