THE RIGHT WAY: SETTING UP FIRING POSITIONS
As my first maneuver, instead of landing, I would have put four big ass beam weapons in high orbit around the planet.
The humans’ early ballistic missiles might have been able to reach low orbit, but not very quickly. This simple attack could have been easily countered just by getting out of the way; with beam weapons, you can pull back to almost the orbit of Earth’s moon and still be effective. Another thing the Earthlings didn’t have during this invasion was radio wave detection apparatus, what they call RADAR. The Gorgonians could have set up these firing platforms without anyone on Earth even noticing. Finally, back then the terrans did not have any kind of deep space fleet, so there would be no need to guard against a flanking maneuver.
Taken all together, that makes your first invasion an utter crime against military planning.
Take the high ground! And orbit is the highest possible ground physics will allow. Beam weapons are devastating, but so are missiles. Hell, you don’t even need warheads. Just send some scout ships to the asteroid belt and have them nudge a few rocks into position, then let them loose.
For future references, please take note. Beam weapons provide you with near instant fire support. And, because you’re in space, you can use weapon systems that are too bulky or dangerous to operate on the planet’s surface. X-ray lasers, for example, require a huge matter/anti-matter reactor just to power up. It takes another huge ass reactor to generate the power used to harness and focus the laser. The whole assembly by itself is the size of a large battle cruiser. This isn’t a weapon you can take down to Earth. Even if you could, your troops wouldn’t appreciate fighting next to something that could potentially blow up and take out a huge piece of the planet they’re standing on.
We’ll get into choice of weapons later, but don’t go all in on X-ray laser or other massive weapons. Why? Because they are only good if you need to blast an entire island off the Earth. You might need less firepower, especially if you need to colonize the planet for some reason. That’s why your weapons platform should have a proper mix of heavy, medium, and light weapons.
The light weapons are for base defense. Even if you’re going up against an opponent with limited spacecraft capabilities, that doesn’t mean he won’t at least try. You ever try targeting a single ship with a massive weapon like an X-ray laser? It isn’t easy.
You can bring more platforms if you want to be a crybaby, but four is the minimum you need. Each platform can cover a hemisphere.
Having just two would mean there would always be an area on the surface that was at a very steep angle to the weapons on the platform. A steep angle can make targeting difficult, if not impossible, and the whole idea here is that you leave no spot on the planet’s surface that you can’t hit with force. You don’t want the Earthlings to have any safe harbors. Four allows each platform to stay in communication range with two other platforms at all times in the unlikely case trouble arises. With exception of the poles, there wouldn’t be any spot on Earth that didn’t have weapons directly overhead. Also, if there’s a gun malfunction, you have at least two reserve batteries to take up the fire missions.
Having high orbit weapons is the key to any planetary invasion. It allows you to devastate whole areas without ever setting foot on the ground. You don’t even need beam weapons or anything.
Orbital weapons platforms can so dominate the battlefield that there have been many times they forced a planet’s surrender by themselves.
That’s how I would have done things back then. Unfortunately, we’re no longer talking about a planet that doesn’t even know how to launch a rocket. After several invasions, they have taken precautions. They haven’t been subjected to orbital weapons yet, but they have planned for their defense.
There are now very powerful directed energy weapons on the planet. Previously they were being used for nuclear fusion experiments, but they have since been turned skyward. They pose a definite threat to any orbital platform. Also, the terrans have hidden what amount to space mines around their orbit. They have had a lot of problems with copying technology from previous invaders, but they have gleaned enough to make a device that will quickly reach an object and explode.
These mines are disguised as dual function communication arrays. You probably won’t notice anything is amiss until one of them blows up in your face. You haven’t spent a lot of time on Earth but, trust me, it would be really embarrassing to get taken out by DirecTV.