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The Cylons quickly establish the initiative and used overwhelming force in both symmetric and asymmetric methods of operation to effect the total devastation of the Twelve Colonies and to virtually succeed in annihilating of the human race.
The Cylons are machines that do not require food or rest. Combined with the work of Cylon Agents that have infiltrated the members of Colonial Society, the Cylons plan to terrorize and force them to tax and drain their resources. The Colonial military support is also eroded through exhaustion as well as wear-and-tear.
The humanoid Cylons are mostly organic, and thus require food and rest by definition; however, they do not require nearly as much as normal humans do.
Assault on Natural ResourcesEdit
Cylon agents pose the most fundamental threat to the security of the Colonies. Because humanoid Cylons are visually indistinguishable from true humans, they form an asymmetric threat to the true humans. Destruction or control of resources such as water supplies or tylium are of high importance.
Humanoid Cylons, be they "sleeper agents" or self-aware persons possess strong emotions that are indiscernible from the emotions of a human. As agent copies are archetypes of human personalities, each Humanoid Cylon is specialized to affect the humans they contact in particular ways. For more on Humanoid Cylon personalities, see the Humanoid Cylon article.
As the personality of a humanoid Cylon can be resurrected under the right conditions, and as such Cylon agents may intentionally expose themselves to destroy a Colonial resource.
Raiders may also use ramming as a tactic against a Raptor, Viper, or battlestar.
Cylon impregnation and reproductionEdit
As per their God's commandments, the Cylons have used captured Colonial refugees still alive in the remains of the Colonial cities in an attempt to reproduce themselves with human hosts. In cases where a female human refuses to cooperate, the Cylons attempt to artificially fertilize her eggs with Humanoid Cylon genetic material. In cases where the woman collaborates, the normal method of intercourse is tried. In other facilities, the Cylons attempt to fertilize female Humanoid Cylons with the genetic material of human males. Such tactics are demoralizing to Colonials who believe strongly that Cylons are purely machines; they may feel that such tactics are a form of rape or perversity that is intolerable.
There are twelve models of humanoid Cylons, each with a personality archetype considered one of 12 human behaviours or traits. The number of copies of a particular model are unknown, but believed to be very large, further complicating Colonial identification of one model and their actions versus another copy.
Sleeper agents are not aware of their true nature. A low-level personality overrides the human personality as required to perform espionage or sabotage.
Takeover by Brute ForceEdit
The symmetric threat posed by the Cylons resides chiefly in the large, well-supplied, technologically sophisticated and well-coordinated space-based naval forces. These are comprised of space-superiority fighters, troop carriers, large capital warships, associated support vessels, and a Resurrection Ship, which is responsible for the recovery of killed Humanoid Cylon and Raider personalities. An individual baseship appears to be less than a match for a Mercury-class Battlestars in combat, but there are presently far more of the former than the latter. It appears that while baseships and battlestars are designed to be carrier/battleship hybrids, baseships lean more towards a carrier as shown by their proportionately larger fighter capacity, while battlestars are better at direct engagement between capital ships. Normally if a baseship faces a battlestar with its full fighter compliment, it poses a serious threat even to Mercury-class battlestars. However, if a base ship's Raider wings are lured away and it is then engaged directly by a battlestar's primary gun batteries, the basestar would stand at a great disadvantage.
The superiority of numbers of the Cylons, be it ships or troop units, leaves the Colonial remnant with very limited defensive options and virtually no offensive options should they encounter Cylon forces. Tactics seen include:
- Infantry Combat: The fast, heavily armoured, and well-armed Cylon Centurion has proven its lethality in multiple close engagements with armed personnel. Small numbers of Centurions can pose a significant threat to the entire crew.
- Precision Strike: The Cylons have demonstrated the capability to insert a strike team onto an battlestar despite its defences. During a boarding by specially-armoured Centurions, the Cylons would have gained access to Aft Damage Control, probably aiming to capture the ship and destroy the rest of the ships around it.
- Electronic Countermeasures (ECM): The uncanny ability of Cylons to compromise the security of networked computer systems has been well-documented. Raiders routiniously send signals to either open a backdoor in Colonial fighters equipped with the CNP or attempt to crack a fighter's avionics or access a battlestar's computer network to infect it with a debilitating virus.
- Mass invasion: The Cylon forces are so overwhelming to remaining Colonial forces that the mere appearance of a single baseship is cause for immediate retreat.