Following the debut of
the Tiger, Colonial victories against the Cylons increased as the
double punch of the Colonial Destroyers and Battlestars allowed
the Colonials to repel almost any Cylon attack and allowed the Colonials
to go onto the offensive for the first time in the better part of
a hundred yharns.
Quickly realizing that the Colonial's new fleet would present
an unacceptable problem, the Cylons adapted to the Colonial's
new strategy of sending heavily armed escort ships with their
carriers and began work on deploying their own Destroyer type
vessel to counter the massive firepower of the Tiger.
After years of work, the Cylons eventually deployed their own
Destroyer class vessel - the lethal Tartarus class Gunship. Debut
of the Tartarus was a devastating blow the Colonial forces. New
Cylon Gunship was armed with ten long-range Mega-Pulsar cannons,
giving her two-and-a-half times the firepower and range of the
Tigers. For close proximity combat the Tartarus was also armed
with over fifty turbo-laser turrets, and was capable of carrying
50 Mk. IX Raider class fighters to the Tiger's eight Vipers.
Debut of the Tartarus was nothing short of a disaster for the
Colonials. First recorded use of the Tartarus was during the "Battle
of Aegis", when the Colonial's Seventh fleet of 100 ships was
decimated by a Cylon force of 20 Base-Stars and five Gunships.
This battle effectively broke the Colonial's offensive and turned
the tide of the war back into the Cylon's favor.
Cylon furor was soon to fade however, as Colonial tacticians
quickly devised countermeasures to the Cylon's new weapon. The
Tartarus, despite her massive weapon payload, had several inherent
design problems, which the Colonials were quickly able to seize
Unlike the Tiger, which was designed as an attack vessel with
almost all her weapons set fore, the Cylon's new Gunship had her
heavy weapons set to either five points spaced 72 degrees apart,
suggesting that the Cylons had intended to deploy it into massive
fleet engagements and open fire in the middle of Colonial forces,
much like what was seen during the "Battle of Aegis." Also, the
Gunship's weapons were so big, that the re-fire delay was three
times that of the Tiger's and, given that she could not concentrate
her fire power at one point the Tiger's were able to stand one-on-one
in a battle with the Tartarus. Probably the biggest design flaw
in the Tartarus' design was the fact she hand nearly no weapons
set to either north or south her Y axis, allowing fighters and
the Tigers to attack from above and bellow, virtually unchallenged.
Still, despite these inherent flaws the Tartarus succeeded in
doing what she had been designed to do - break the Colonial offensive
and force humanity to fight smaller campaigns where the Cylons
had an advantage, rather than fleet actions where their Base-Stars
could be bested by superior Colonial tactics.
Due to the fact that there were very few occasions to use the
Tartarus, given that massive offensive operations from the Colonials
or their allies were few, only a handful of Tartarus class Gunships
were ever constructed many of, which were lost during the "Battle