The glaringly stupid defense of the citadel (Mass Effect 1)

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to be honest, i couldn't give a flying fuck about whether the battle plan was sloppily executed, or there was a genius tactition behind it (am i contradicting my self here o.O), i still feel that this ending is the strongest ending in the series...

BioWare should have really been taking notes on the ending of ME, hell even ME2, because damn that ending was satisfying

Nobody believed Shepard about the Reapers, and nobody expected the Geth (or anyone else for that matter) to have the balls to launch an all-out attack on the Citadel. If they had, they definitely would have prepared an effective ambush at the Mass Relay.

Hell, they may have even been able to take out Sovereign. In ME3 the Turians are said to have destroyed several of the Reapers over Palaven in the initial invasion, before being overrun. So it stands to reason that if the Citadel defenses had been prepared they could have stopped Sovereign.

Leodiensian:
It's pretty clear that there are two Mass Effect universes; the game world and the cutscene world. They work different ways. Space combat is one aspect, but I most commonly note it when a character will have a weapon in a cutscene that they don't have in game. I most recently noticed this in one of the near-final cinematics for ME3, where Garrus suddenly started one-shotting Cannibals that out-of-cutscene took a few seconds of concentrated assault rifle fire (due to playing on a higher difficulty setting) before hand - and he'd managed to switch to a weaker model of assault rifle on top of that!

Very true that and dont forget the scene with Jack destroying everything in the scenes but when you get her in your party she aint quite so good. Loads of games do this mind and I have learnt to ignore it Mass Effect is no different looking cool is the most important thing to hell with continuity.

I wondered why they didn't close the citidel's wings. I'm not sure whether it's ever explained that they know they knew how to close them, but giant actuators can't be that hard to spot. besides the name itself, "citidel", suggests they know it's a fortifiable structure. So why did they leave the gate open for the geth to walk right in.

Saviordd1:
So why were Turian dreadnaughts and the Destiny Ascension on the front lines of the battle? Wouldn't it have made sense for the biggest ships to be in the back for fire support while frigates and cruisers attack the Geth lines?

Obviously they wanted to hit them with their swords.

Saviordd1:
Snip

A lot of this can be BS explained away as "Who's to say they weren't doing that and the camera just didn't show it?" (such as with you're points on the "melee range combat" and such)

As for evacuating the Council to the Ascension, I do agree that's retarded. You don't send the most important people in the galaxy onto a ship that is then going to be going into the front lines of battle.

As for "Why so close to the Citadel?" For starters, it's never really made clear what the distance between the Citadel and it's relay is. You also have to keep in mind that, ideally, as soon as they know they're under attack they'd close the Citadel. But while the Reaper signal couldn't fully activate the Citadel Relay function, it WAS able to prevent them from closing the arms. As such the fleet hovers near the Citadel expecting it to close at the first sign of danger, this wasn't the case.

Also, as soon as the hostile fleet appears, the Citadel fleet moves forward and away from the Citadel to engage in combat.

Beyond that - and this actually covers a lot of questions - there was the council's disbelief in Shepard throughout the entire game. They thought he was some ranting, raving lunatic convinced of giant space monsters when he's really just chasing a rogue specter and nothing more. They had no idea what the capabilities of the Geth fleet were, let alone Sovereign. I highly doubt they did anything at all to beef up their security because they were overconfident in their own abilities.

There is one very important part of Mass effect lore you forgot:
NO-ONE BUT COMMANDER SHEPARD AND HIS FRIENDS HAS A BRAIN.
You have to be on the Normandy Crew or be friends with Shep to get one. Its something to do with Mass Effect fields, Disingenous assertions, reach and flexibility, etc.

GloatingSwine:
All of the space battle cutscenes in Mass Effect are terrible. This is because the people who write the story and gameplay don't talk to the people who render the cutscenes, and neither of them talk to the people who write the codex.

THIS!

I remember the Cutscenes and they are just stupid, I often just let it slide due to Size constraints, you know the Destiny Ascension is fuking huge and it would look like its close to the citadel when its actually a couple of thousand kilometers away from it.

And the Speeds at which the fleets travel are retardedly fast.

so yeah having the space of a Few Lightyears would have not been as AWESOME to render an OMGSPLOTIONS EVERYWURR that was put into ME1. Which is a common complaint I brought up to people that say that ME1 was a great game.

Saviordd1:

Actually the Codex explains the whole drift idea

"The crucial choice for any attack through mass relays is how to divide the fleet for transit. The accuracy of a relay's mass-projection depends on the mass being moved and how far its going. Any long distance and/or high mass jump will see "drift". That is, a ship may be hundreds or millions of kilometers from its intended drop point, in any direction from the relay.

Distance can't be chosen by admirals, but a relay is told how much mass to transit. For example, if told to move a million metric tons of mass, the relay will scan the approach corridor, find four 250,000-ton freighters, and transit them together, maintaining their relative positions."

Ah, thanks for correcting me on that, learn something new every day.

Klatz:
As someone mentioned in the ME3 plotholes thread, wouldn't the AI on the Citadel have done something to allow Sovereign to win? Or more directly just trigger the mass effect that would allow the Reapers to jump to the Citadel?

I seriously doubt the writers of the first ME had any idea that would happen.

SajuukKhar:

for all we know there is a safety switch built into his systems that prevents him from opening the relay himself as a measure to prevent a early/false start on an invasion in the case he went rouge.

It's well known that the Reapers despise makeup.

Excuse me if this point has already been made in this thread.

Citadel WAS expecting an attack but they thought it would happen in the fringes of the Terminus Systems (an unlawful zone outside the ''borders'' of Citadel influence with another zone, Attican Traverse'' being kind of a mixture of both and between Citadel and Terminus space). When the Normandy was grounded and Shepard called back after all 4 main missions were done the Council assigned increased patrols and military presence in their borders. Citadel was only guarded by a token force of the Citadel fleet.

So yeah, they were ambushed with their pants down while a significant portion of their fleet was elsewhere.

Another thing which i just thought up was that since Saren and the geth were already inside the Citadel doing their thing before Sovereign appeared, maybe the geth faked some orders so the fleet outside would ''stand down'' and assume standard patrols in the vicinity? They did have supposedly took over Citadel control by that point as shown in the video.

Only thing which is kinda hand waved in my opinion in the cutscenes is how did the geth fleet outmaneuver the increased fleet patrols outside the Terminus systems and make a beeline to the Citadel? >_>

BlindWorg:
Only thing which is kinda hand waved in my opinion in the cutscenes is how did the geth fleet outmaneuver the increased fleet patrols outside the Terminus systems and make a beeline to the Citadel? >_>

I'd suggest that a patrol gaurding a relay wasn't outmaneuvered as it was immediately overwhelmed since the council had no real estimation of how powerful sovereign was. Normally I'd say well why didn't word reach the remaining patrols and the citadel fleet in advance but based on the reaper invasion of the sol system and seizing of the citadel in ME3 it appears they have mastered the art of disrupting communications (well atleast when it's convinient for the plot)

Saviordd1:
In the scene where Sovereign and the Geth fleet arrive its quite clear that the Citadel fleet is close the Citadel itself, and no where near the mass relay into the system.

What the hell?

There's a few things wrong with this.

One, if a Mass Accelerator round hit even one ward of the citadel, millions would die, as these rounds have been told to cause more damage than atmoic bombs.

Two, the fleet should have been near the Mass Relay itself, this way it gives the citadel time to close, as well as minimizes the chances of a accelerator round hitting the station itself.

What's this business about "the" mass relay? According to the codex, the Citadel is surrounded by dozens of mass relays. The single relay shown on the ME2 and ME3 galaxy map is just an abstraction.

Thus, if an attack on the Citadel is expected, the only logical defense is to gather the fleet near the Citadel itself, rather than spreading the fleet too thin trying to cover all the relays in, or concentrating on specific relays and risking being wrong about the line of attack. Also note that the most important role of the fleet defending the Citadel is to hold off the attackers long enough for the station to seal itself.

Now because sealing the station blocks all travel into or out of the Citadel, it makes sense to wait until an attack is immanent before sealing, or at least wait until enough supplies have been gathered to weather a protracted siege. But whether the station is open or not is a moot point in this case. The Battle of the Citadel begins with Saren's forces launching a ground assault through the Conduit - which the Citadel forces had no way of knowing was even a valid route of attack - allowing him to seize control of the station and prevent it from being sealed (or re-open, in the even that it had already been sealed) before Sovereign can arrive with the Geth Heretic fleet.

In space, everyone slows down to shoot guns.

Not counting the mass relays, the Mass Effect universe has slower FTL travel right? You'd think the Geth would have FTL suicide bombed half the fleet upon arrival.

There might be a lore reason for that not being possible but that was my first thought when seeing the Geth attack the fleet.

Loved the ending all the same.

If only the Galactic Empire had been in the area at the time. They could have loaned the Alliance a couple hundred star destroyers and sorted this Reaper mess out quickly.

I find it funny how Ashley admires the Destiny Ascension yet when the Ascension is thrown into battle it gets destroyed pretty quickly. I don't remember seeing it take down any Geth ships either.

Well there are several things wrong with your argument:

1. Only dreadnaughts fire those rounds, and the geth had none at that time.

2. If the fleet was near the relay, they'd have no time to examine the enemy, their ships, their offensive and defensive capabilities, how many they have, and if any broke through the citadel would be wide open.

3. Yes that statement would be true IF they engaged the geth inside the citadel, which they didn't, they were only close to it, and the original plan was to close the citadel before the geth got there, but that was screwed over because Saren used the conduit.

4. The Ascension was specifically a flagship, it was meant to be at the head of the fleet, it is also the only (possible) dreadnought in the fight.

5. NO. An attacking fleet would NOT prioritize the biggest ship with all of their ships, it would be a big threat, but unless you take out all the smaller ships, you'd lose far more than saving it for last, shown when the Ascension only gets destroyed AFTER every other ship there.
If the control station of the Citadel is invaded it would be relatively easy to find where the council is, and the normandy is the only stealth ship in existence, so there wasn't a better place for them.

6. The reason they didn't do it is because they had (or believed they had since there was next to no intel on the enemy) better long ranged weapons, you don't want to lose that advantage, so you'd hang back until you had to close in, and by the looks of it, the ascension handled it rather well, considering it was the last one to go.

In conclusion, it seems like you just didn't think a lot of these through, or need to just rewath the video to clarify some things.

Saviordd1:
The defense of the citadel against the geth was the biggest military blunder ever conceived in a fictional universe. Why? Well lets go over the biggest mistakes.

You're over-thinking the entire situation. Take any sci-fi or fantasy scenario and try to apply real world logic to it and you will always end up with a headache. Watch:

Zombies
If zombies are mindless eating machines, why don't they attack each other?
If their goal is to spread the virus/entity that they are infected with, why do they so frequently end up mutilating a living victim beyond any hope of being a viable carrier?

Space Battles and Star Wars
If you ignore the presence of gravity aboard fighter craft, most frigate and larger class vehicles all have local gravity similar to Earth's. So how can one of the most well known scenes in sci-fi history, Darth Vader tossing Palpatine off a walkway in the end of Return of the Jedi, work? Gravity fields are spherical[1] and it simply doesn't make sense to create a planet sized gravity field when the second deathstar was an incomplete spherical shape. Fighter and debris movement near the station would become incredibly hazardous, not to mention incredibly demanding in terms of power.

Mass Effect
You have people with the ability to affect (huge, high mass) objects on the molecular level... WITH THEIR MIND. That just doesn't make sense in general.

The answer to all your questions, and mine is simple:
"It just looks cooler that way"

[1] I'm biting off more physics than I can chew here but play along

The3rdEye:

Saviordd1:
The defense of the citadel against the geth was the biggest military blunder ever conceived in a fictional universe. Why? Well lets go over the biggest mistakes.

You're over-thinking the entire situation. Take any sci-fi or fantasy scenario and try to apply real world logic to it and you will always end up with a headache. Watch:

Space Battles and Star Wars
If you ignore the presence of gravity aboard fighter craft, most frigate and larger class vehicles all have local gravity similar to Earth's. So how can one of the most well known scenes in sci-fi history, Darth Vader tossing Palpatine off a walkway in the end of Return of the Jedi, work? Gravity fields are spherical[footnote]I'm biting off more physics than I can chew here but play along[/footnote] and it simply doesn't make sense to create a planet sized gravity field when the second deathstar was an incomplete spherical shape. Fighter and debris movement near the station would become incredibly hazardous, not to mention incredibly demanding in terms of power.

That's a pretty huge assumption to make in a fictional universe. Aside from which, cross-sections (as well as structural details) of the death star imply it has a planar deck structure, not a structure based around concentric spherical shells (which a spherical gravity field would imply).

Artificial gravity on starships, as well as such things as the millennium falcon all imply gravity which is planar, not spherical.

Is that plausible in terms of real-world physics? Who really knows? We can't generate artificial gravity.
However, we can generate artificial sound, artificial light, artificial magnetism, and so on, which mathematically at least have similar properties to gravity.
(Keep in mind however we don't understand what, exactly causes gravity.)

And as it happens, the shape and strength of say a magnetic field can be modified quite extensively. While it's difficult to get it to take on an exact shape without any odd side-effects, you can nonetheless control it quite extensively.

So, what this all implies is that the gravity in the death star is planar, and runs from the top to the bottom, rather than from outside to inside (Probably with some areas of unusual gravity in odd directions where that would be convenient).
It's mass probably also gives it a natural gravity field, but if you already have the tech to manipulate gravity directly, you can probably compensate for whatever hassles this would cause.

Also, did you know that theoretically speaking, if you can manipulate gravity, then getting something to hover in midair requires no energy whatsoever?
(That's actually more obvious than you might think though. If you put something on a table, is any energy being used up holding the object there against the force of gravity?)

Eh. The problem is, the more you speculate, the more easily you can create problems that don't exist, or worse still, assume something which isn't even remotely accurate.

For instance:

Stealth in space; - You might think given the distances involved, and how difficult it is to develop any decent sensing equipment, that space battles might resemble submarine warfare.
As in, the biggest challenge is finding your opponent before they find you.

However, the physics of space, as well as the energy requirements of space travel over non-trivial distances actually mean that you really haven't got a hope in hell of 'hiding' in space.

If you can manage interstellar travel, your ship would put out so much energy that you'd be clearly visible from earth if you were near pluto.

Far from stealth being a likely aspect of space combat, the reality is that anyone within a huge distance would see exactly what you were doing most of the time.

But... Fiction and physics rarely go well together. Most science fiction leans far more heavily on 'fiction' than 'science'.

The3rdEye:
You're over-thinking the entire situation. Take any sci-fi or fantasy scenario and try to apply real world logic to it and you will always end up with a headache. Watch:

CrystalShadow:

The3rdEye:
The answer to all your questions, and mine is simple:
"It just looks cooler that way[1]"

[1] Not to mention the actual technology that would make any of this even remotely possible is so far away we may as well we theorizing whether it's better to feed your cloned triceratops iceburge or romaine lettuce. The ramifications of the information, regardless of the accuracy, is minuscule.Besides, sci-fi and fantasy exist to excuse themselves and their audience from reality. If the math doesn't work and that's what's bothering you, then that's the problem, not the fiction.

Hydro14:
Ok, concerning why the Citadel AI didn't just call in the Reapers; if you ask Vigil all the questions you can on Ilos it explains that the last Prothean survivors that it was able to save, upon finding that there weren't enough of them to form a stable population, went through the Conduit once the Reapers had withdrawn and disabled the Citadel's transmitter. It's strongly implied that in every previous cycle the Reapers had just appeared in precisely the way you describe, with no need for a Reaper to physically reach the Citadel.

From my understanding, although it's been a long time since I played ME1, that Sovereign transmitted the signal to the Keepers on the Citadel. And Sovereign was the agent that hibernated, waking up from time to time to see if organic civilization had progressed far enough to be harvested.

It's possible to retcon the ending as you have posited. But then why didn't Sovereign just have Saren go in and re-activate the Catalyst/Star Child or undo whatever the Protheans had done?

The simplest answer is that Starchild idea wasn't developed until after ME1. The writers responsible for the ending in ME3 ignored their own canon.

Klatz:

From my understanding, although it's been a long time since I played ME1, that Sovereign transmitted the signal to the Keepers on the Citadel. And Sovereign was the agent that hibernated, waking up from time to time to see if organic civilization had progressed far enough to be harvested.

It's possible to retcon the ending as you have posited. But then why didn't Sovereign just have Saren go in and re-activate the Catalyst/Star Child or undo whatever the Protheans had done?

The simplest answer is that Starchild idea wasn't developed until after ME1. The writers responsible for the ending in ME3 ignored their own canon.

Unless the Catlsy doesn't have control over the mass relay part of the citadel and just hangs out there as a control person for the Reaper armada.

there are possible explanations Bioware was just stupid and didnt put one in.

Klatz:
From my understanding, although it's been a long time since I played ME1, that Sovereign transmitted the signal to the Keepers on the Citadel. And Sovereign was the agent that hibernated, waking up from time to time to see if organic civilization had progressed far enough to be harvested.

It's possible to retcon the ending as you have posited. But then why didn't Sovereign just have Saren go in and re-activate the Catalyst/Star Child or undo whatever the Protheans had done?

The simplest answer is that Starchild idea wasn't developed until after ME1. The writers responsible for the ending in ME3 ignored their own canon.

(I'm afraid the following post turned into quite a wall of text. Paragraphs 1, 4 and 6 are the only ones that are essential to the point I'm making, the rest is supplemental.)

I always assumed that Sovereign didn't actually know what The Conduit was until after Saren had used the beacon on Eden Prime - by which time it wasn't possible to outrun the Normandy back to the Citadel - and wanted to find out before doing anything rash. This is supported by how the Conduit wasn't activated until after the Reapers had withdrawn. Mass Effect 2's plot proves that weapons were built in previous cycles that could one-shot a Reaper and given that Sovereign is alone in the galaxy at this point it would make sense for him to be cautious. Even if he knew it was a miniature mass relay it could still pose a hazard to him if it were used to transport a large enough thermonuclear charge aboard the Citadel as he attempted to fix it. Control of the Conduit, or at least ensuring that it's not already in the hands of his enemies, would therefore be a priority to him.

Consider also that Saren is not entirely indoctrinated, at least at this point, making it seem likely that Sovereign couldn't use him for tasks that so openly showed his endgame plan. From the dialogue, Saren seemed under the impression that the Reapers wanted to control the galaxy. It's only in Mass Effect 2 that this shifts to anything more complex with Harbinger's opening line "We are the harbingers of their ascension..." and of course the closing monologue "The ones you call 'Reapers' are your salvation through destruction." Furthermore, the fact that Sovereign actually docks with the Citadel suggests that even with his implants, Saren wouldn't have been able to fix the problem alone - or at least that Sovereign was unwilling to rely on it.

As a final point on this inquiry, we don't know how long Sovereign's been active in the galaxy and it seems to be assumed that he's been planning his actions for a long time when in fact all we know is that he's been active long enough to trick the Geth, indoctrinate Saren and Benezia, set up a cloning lab on Virmire (and that's assuming it's not an older facility he re-purposed) and obtain the Prothean cipher on Feros. The only thing that fixes the chronology of any of this to a period longer than a few weeks is Benezia's decision to go after Saren. Do we have any accurate information on how long ago that was? I must admit I wasn't looking for that information the last time I was playing.

I agree that the simplest answer is that they hadn't thought of the Starchild yet, and despite defending the internal logic of the series I wouldn't even suggest that he was anything but a last minute addition. Nonetheless, the Harbinger quotes in the passage above prove that while using the Starchild as a means of exposition may have been a very late decision in the development cycle, the motivations of the Reapers (the bit about extinction at the hands of synthetics excluded) were not. Everything does hinge on the Starchild's apparent blindness to everything that goes on outside that tiny section of the Citadel where the final scene takes place. He also explicitly says he controls the Reapers, which contrasts how Sovereign and Harbinger have been demonstrated to act as autonomous agents. Harbinger's behaviour changes completely in the third game. He has previously been shown to be extremely prideful, but doesn't indulge in any taunts at Shepard throughout the entire game. The only way that I can see to reconcile this with the established canon is to assume that the Catalyst only became able to communicate with the Reapers and control them after they took the Citadel. It makes some degree of sense as we know that a signal transmitter is what the Protheans sabotaged, and that the Reapers would now have replaced it, but the evidence within the text to support this is clearly inadequate. No doubt about it, the Starchild was a mistake on Bioware's part, but it doesn't immediately turn Sovereign into the fifth wheel on the chassis.

Now that you mention it I do remember Vigil saying that it was the Keepers who opened the Citadel relay, however the VI's position to know on this matter is suspect. By his own admission, their galactic government was gutted before the Protheans knew what had happened. Did Vigil know the mechanisms by which the Reapers were summoned or was he simply programmed to pass on information that was merely a best guess? Clearly enough of the Protheans' information was accurate enough for them to sabotage the Reapers' efforts in this cycle, and not just by breaking a signal transmitter, but breaking it in a way that the Keepers couldn't fix it. That said, they wouldn't have needed to know who was using the communications system in order to break it.

As a parting note though, the information contained in my previous post would in no way constitute a ret-con, it's all based on information that is already in the text. The concept of a rich text is that the information is there for the audience to make sense of but the text is under no obligation to explain it; whether or not Mass Effect should be considered a rich text is a sub-topic for the 'games as art' debate and I won't derail this topic any further. A ret-con actively changes established canon, this information would really just be supplemental to it.

Saviordd1:
BE WARNED, LOTS OF READING AND SUCH, MIGHT HURT THE BRAINS OF SOME, OR BORE PEOPLE WHO DON'T CARE FOR MASS EFFECT LORE.

Challenge Accepted!

Lately I decided to play through the entire Mass Effect series again, just cause I'm like that, and while finishing ME1 I noticed something.

The defense of the citadel against the geth was the biggest military blunder ever conceived in a fictional universe. Why? Well lets go over the biggest mistakes.

In case you don't remember the defense of the citadel, or don't know what I'm talking about, I've provided a link.

The Citadel Fleet put the Citadel itself at risk
In the scene where Sovereign and the Geth fleet arrive its quite clear that the Citadel fleet is close the Citadel itself, and no where near the mass relay into the system.

What the hell?

There's a few things wrong with this.

One, if a Mass Accelerator round hit even one ward of the citadel, millions would die, as these rounds have been told to cause more damage than atmoic bombs.

I may be wrong but I think they say that a MA round impacts with the same force as an atomic bomb. Not necessarily the same thing as doing the same amount of damage as one. A MA impact would be much more focussed. Doing catastrophic damage, but over a much smaller area that a nuke would. I mean, look at the impact blasts against those ships. Sure it looks destructive, but they're sure not nuclear explosions.

I believe it also says something about targeting systems being so nuanced that it is virtually impossible to miss, so there's really not much of a risk of the Citadel getting hit.

Two, the fleet should have been near the Mass Relay itself, this way it gives the citadel time to close, as well as minimizes the chances of a accelerator round hitting the station itself.

How close are we talking here? Because if the Geth fleet had come out right on top of them, they would have been cut to pieces. Even if we assume they didn't know about Sovereign, the Geth think (and so we can assume, also target) faster than any organic. The Geth would have got the first salvo away, the Citadel fleet would have been too close to maneuver properly, and they'd have been fucked. Staying back allows them to detect the Geth and ready themselves before both sides get in range of each-other (in theory). As for the arms closing, they don't know that Saren has already boarded the Citadel through the Conduit. If he hadn't they probably would have been able to close in time anyway.

Three, if ships in the fleet are destroyed they run the risk of their debris also hitting the wards, causing even more civilian deaths.

I can't really answer this one. I guess, maybe they just didn't think the Geth would arrive in significant enough numbers to threaten them. As the Geth had never been outside the Veil until Eden Prime, if could be assumed that they didn't have a fleet big enough to rival the Citadel's (which as far as anyone knew was the biggest single collection of ships in the Galaxy).

To add to all of this there isn't a risk of enemies coming from all directions, as the nebula around the citadel is considered too dangerous to travel through, as kinetic barriers do nothing against its dangerous electrical discharges.

All in all the fleet was doing more harm than good being so close to the citadel.

The fleet formation goes against the stated doctrine of space combat
In the various codex entries it is stated that dreadnaughts, the biggest damn things in the galaxy, are great at hitting things from far away with big goddam guns, but can't do crap if something gets to close for its guns to track.

So why were Turian dreadnaughts and the Destiny Ascension on the front lines of the battle? Wouldn't it have made sense for the biggest ships to be in the back for fire support while frigates and cruisers attack the Geth lines?

To be fair, due to the angles that we see the battle from, as well as the Nebula fogging everything up, that could be happening for all we know and we just don't see it. When the arms start to close Sovereign has to come from a long way in the distance to break though the line and get inside, so for all we know he's been busy gutting frigates out there before he has to make his move.

Evacuating the council to the Destiny Ascension is a HORRIBLE idea
The Destiny Ascension is the biggest/most powerful ship in the council fleets, so it makes some sense that you would want to put the most important people in the galaxy on the ship if the place was ever attacked.

Except that an attacking fleet would probably prioritize targeting on the ship that dwarfs all the other ships.

This is even shown in ME1 where the Destiny Ascension is getting its teeth kicked in and is only saved if a full fleet of alliance ships come and save it.

Wouldn't it make more sense to put the Council on a smaller, possibly stealthed ship? Or maybe throw them in a heavily guarded bunker somewhere on the citadel itself? Its sure as hell not a good idea to put them on the most targeted ship in the fleet.

In hindsight it does look like a stupid plan. However, again consider that before Sovereign came along the Destiny Ascension was considered to be pretty much indestructible. It had no equal for size, armour, and firepower. So with that way of thinking it seems like a sensible place to put them. A smaller ship might not be as bigger target but all it takes is some inside intel and their cover's blown. A bunker on the station might have ample protection, but can't get the hell out of dodge if the worst comes to the worst.

A failure to close to melee range (Except for the ships not equipped for such combat)
In the codex entry on space combat its stated that after a bit of throwing Mass Accelerator slugs at each other, fighting fleets normally get really close to each other so they can start burning each other with GARDIAN lasers and such.

Why did no one do this except the Geth?

Towards the end it becomes obvious the Geth did this, but they did it to the ship that couldn't handle it, the Ascension.

Why didn't council frigates and cruisers, the ships who could handle these "Melee" battles, get sent towards the Geth ships?

Again, this could have happened and we just don't see it. Or the fleet could have been too scattered and disorientated by the original onslaught to make such a tactic viable, and it would have been better to try and regroup. On the other hand, look at Sovereign. Would YOU want to get into a knife fight with that thing?

Concluding Statements
Obviously this is all nit picking, and honestly the battle was pretty badass to watch, making it more a victim of "Rule of Cool"

None the less I thought I would share my over-thought...thoughts on the battle, and would welcome any rebuttals or discussion on it.

TL;DR
I have way to much time on my hands and decided to nitpick 10 minutes of a cinematic.
I also pay way to much attention to the Mass Effect lore.

You're not alone there. I'm not necessarily stating that I'm right and you're wrong, bit I think a lot of things you pointed out can be interpreted differently.

Same can be said of every single space battle in the entire ME franchise.
When it comes to cutscenes ME follows the rule of cool, not lore and logic.

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