Reviewing the files of the newly assigned officers, Admiral Klang selected Captain Brasnick to lead the attack on Federation border station K7. (Brasnick was given the temporary rank of "acting commodore" which became permanent after his first victories.) Over a period of months, as new ships were assigned to the Eastern Fleet (and reassigned to its three attack squadrons) Brasnick fought to get and keep the best available ships. His squadron would have no dreadnought to support its attack, and the admiral was keeping the best ships for himself. Brasnick was able to get the D6s Bloodshedder and Desolation. (The admiral wanted to keep the newer and better D7s for himself. Brasnick cleverly did not complain. The two D6s had been part of the original Tholian Border Squadron and had spent the last three years fighting Kzintis. Both were veteran ships well proven in combat. The admiral kept new D7s what were fresh from the Imperial War Reserve and had only a smattering of combat veterans among their crews.) For his other ships, Brasnick had to make do with whatever ships the admiral did not want, which included only frigates and escorts. These included the minehunter F5M-7 Meticulous, the scout F5S-34 Scorn, the small carrier F5V-5 Storm Carrier and its diminutive escort E4A-7 Adept, the frigates F5-40 Vicious and F5-43 Undaunted, and the frigate leader F5C-3 Audacity
        At first, Brasnick's ships were simply the 3rd Squadron of the Eastern Fleet, but Brasnick wanted to instill unit pride and fighting spirit, and began to call his ships "my Red Daggers." By the time the unit went to war, no one remembered that the Red Dagger Squadron had a number. To keep the increased forces out of sight of the Federation, the new ships were deployed at planets a thousand parsecs from the border. Brasnick was assigned to Paradura, which did not have a proper base. A dynamic leader, Brasnick drilled his ships hard to improve their skills in maneuver and gunnery. Only when they achieved the goals he set did he allow each captain to repaint his ship in the distinctive colors Brasnick had selected. The squadron was to go on to earn many battle honors over the next year.

        Admiral Klang was of the old pre-war school of thought, and his attack plans were based on a steady push forward, destroying fixed defenses and capturing planets across the entire front at a steady (if slow) pace ‹ at the speed of his supply convoys. Enemy fleets would be defeated as they presented themselves at the front line.
       Admiral Koval, Commodore Brasnick, and other officers who were veterans of three years of war with the Kzintis and two years of fighting the Hydrans knew that this doctrine was not going to work. The way to victory would be deep breakthroughs after the initial attacks wrecked the key battle stations on the border. (Those bases had to be destroyed in the first attacks. Left behind, they would have to be surrounded by ships or they would become the source for constant raids on Klingon supply lines. Once the border defenses collapsed, however, the doctrine that had defeated the Kzintis and Hydrans was to strike fast and deep into the enemy rear, disrupting supply lines, keeping the enemy off balance, and forcing enemy ships and squadrons to fight at times and places selected by the Klingons. Brasnick, Koval, and the other veterans of the two previous invasions knew that speed was the key to victory, and that deep targets must be destroyed before the enemy could muster a proper defense. Brasnick's theory was that a single squadron could cause more disruption in a day than a slower-moving battle fleet that insisted on securing each area before moving on could create in a week.
  Brasnick knew how to play the game. The first two or three days of the war would be the same using either doctrine, and by the time Admiral Klang realized that Brasnick was using the new "fast attack doctrine" instead of the original plan, Koval's success on the right would have convinced the admiral that the new way was better. As part of this, Brasnick gave only lip service to the admiral's plan for slow-moving logistics convoys. Brasnick loaded his ships for extended operations, and gathered up a handful of free traders and priority transports that could swiftly bring forward critical supplies (mostly drones and spare parts). Brasnick planned to get his fuel and food supplies from Federation depots (which is what he did).
        Brasnick's plan was not to annihilate each target in turn, but to give it a swift punch to the face that left an enemy reeling as the Klingon squadron departed to attack another target. ("It is better," Brasnick told his captains, "to destroy 80% of 100 targets than 100% of 10 targets.") If enemy reinforcements were to show up, the squadron would evade. If a target of opportunity presented itself, the squadron would change course and attack. These tactics required a commander of great initiative and killer instinct, qualities that Brasnick never thought to doubt in himself.
    The result of this strategy, Brasnick believed, would be an enemy which would be reeling and on the defensive across the entire front, leaving them vulnerable to deeper strikes into their territory. He thought an entire war could be won this way, so long as the enemy could be kept on the back foot.

An Opportunity Presents Itself
       Admiral Klang 's original plan was for Brasnick to brush aside or ignore the heavy cruiser USS Hood and take his fleet on a direct push against K7. At the last moment, however, Brasnick learned that the USS Hood had departed its patrol station to check out reports of Klingon infiltration on the Tanga Colony. Realizing that he could destroy a key ship and still complete his assigned mission, Brasnick sent the smaller ships toward K7 while leading his three cruisers on a "side trip" to bag the USS Hood. The battle was brief and very one-sided. Caught by surprise, unable to call upon reinforcements, and with no room to maneuver, the USS Hood found itself confronting three enemy ships, any one of which could give it a serious challenge on its own. Brasnick's own ship, Challenger, delivered the final overloaded disruptor volley, blasting the Hood apart. His cruisers still arrived at K7 on time to launch the planned attack, destroying that base. Brasnick, citing "opportunities that had presented themselves" then used his initiative to launch the first of the deep attacks he envisioned.
        Before Admiral Klang could rein in Brasnick, Koval's deep attacks had proven the fast attack doctrine, and Eastern Fleet was ordered to abandon the original slow grind. The new orders fitted into Brasnick's own plans like a glove. Brasnick was able to use his own discretion to select his own targets. Many thought he was ambitious, perhaps too ambitious, as he took Red Dagger Squadron deep into Federation territory. While Koval's Southeast Fleet was the main attack, Brasnick's Red Dagger squadron made the Eastern Fleet's deepest penetrations.