Author Topic: Battle for Barnard's Star  (Read 4435 times)

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Offline waresky

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Re: Battle for Barnard's Star
« Reply #30 on: January 19, 2018, 11:52:49 AM »
AM here from (holy crap..Starfleet than,,jesus,from Pencil and paper..1979.zzz...) 2004, and its loving found newly "Aurora's Addicted" grow up. Thank all for Joy and support our Precious : #Steve W.

Offline sublight

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Re: Battle for Barnard's Star
« Reply #31 on: January 21, 2018, 07:01:56 PM »
The Beam Fighter vs Fast Rail Frigate fight is taking longer than anticipated. Short range hit-run skirmishes, scout counter and counter moves, etc have resulted in lots of indecisive clashes and lots and lots of small increments. It didn't help that I had to scrap and reload the save twice because the two forces managed to fly past each other undetected through mutual active scanner range on 20-minute increments.  :P

Round 3, Match 1: Beam Fighters vs Fast Rail Frigates: Part 1

Act 1
The Battle for Barnard's Star opened by the book. The Frigates ditched their tankers and proceeded at full speed to the opposing jump point. The Beam Fighters sent half their carriers back for reinforcements and sent the carriers, gunboats, and meson/microwave fighters off to hide in deep space while the scout and missile fighters proceeded down the middle toward the opposing jump point. The scouts and frigates then met in the middle.

First contact occurred on October 22 at 7:43. The frigates spotted a single S27-R20 scanner approaching at excessive speed. Intelligence estimated this to have a 9.6-16.9m km range depending on EM sensitivity, so an Annapolis scout was dispatched to close to 1.4m km, a distance judged to be just outside of worst-case detection.

Seven minutes later the the fighters achieved active contact and closed to 8.9m km where a wave of six Recon missiles were launched at the approaching frigates. The reacon missiles weren't particularly fast, accurate, or heavily armed with just Str-2 warheads. Their true payloads were 0.144 strength EM sensors. As was regrettably expected every missile was squashed by point defense fire 10k km short of impact despite having each missile in an independent salvo. Nevertheless the mission was an intelligence success.

• The Frigates were armed with a mix of str-3 and str-1 weapons. Plausible 10cm lasers and gauss but given their high speed probably 10cm/15cm railguns.
• The Halifax targets have S64-R1 active scanners: Active Range < 7m km.
• There was no evidence the Frigates were missile armed.
• Two new targets designated Annapolis were detected as S8-R8 active signatures. Whatever those were massed less than 1kTon.

On the off chance the previous point-defense fire was a fluke a second wave was launched consisting of 3x Recon missiles and 3x Extortion missiles. The Extortion missiles were unarmored, but carried a heavier Str-4 warhead, better agility, and had a small 0.047 thermal sensor. This wave showed that the Frigates at TH742 thermal signatures. The Annapolis were not detected, implying they had < TH212 for <1450tons... so nothing new learned.

The recon fighter group then turned back to rearm and rejoin the others while a single Barracuda remained to maintain an active scanner lock. By the time the 3rd Annapolis quietly closed to provide counter surveillance the lone Barracuda was all that remained.

Act 2

With ordinance expended the burden of offense lay with the Beam Fighters. The question was timing. An all out assault should begin just before jump reinforcements arrived to keep the reinforcements from being ambushed and to provide a second wave before their targets could repair. On the other hand low intensity long-range harassment would allow the fighters to withdrawn and fully repair in hangers. The low-risk Plan 'B' was selected to gain further intelligence and to rehearse the careful time required for an all out-assault.

The Rehearsal proved wise. A bug in the autopilot interception code resulted in an interception point chosen based on where the frigates continued at their observed maximum speed on their observed course while disregarding the notion that the frigates were in fact stationary guarding the jump point. The resulting arch resulted in needless delays that caused the fighters to arrive on station 30 minutes after the notional reinforcements would have transited*. The encounter then went down hill from there.

The fighters first closed to 113k km to offensively launch point-blank missiles, but were immediately impacted by 8x str-1 impacts spread over four different fighters (one of each class). Second the missiles impacted with only 36% accuracy with only two hits. Realizing they couldn't soften up the frigates unopposed with missiles the fighters closed to 85k km and opened fire with lessons at... 11% accuracy. Mesons struck in ones and threes to no apparent effect while the fighters were hammered with incoming railgun fire. A Jaguar and Scorpion retreated as planned when their armor wore then, but then the frigates shifted fire to focus entirely on a single armored target. At the same time the fighters attempted to close to 70k km to improve meson accuracy, but over corrected and ended up just 27k km from the frigates. One Jaguar was vaporized under the combined hail of 15cm and 10cm railgun fire, with 'only' one lost because of the focused fire. The fighters retreated to a more sensible range, but a second Jaguar was destroyed regardless. Disheartened, the fighters retreated entirely out of range while waiting on the Tarantula to finish reloading.

One again the fighters attempted to close to 85k km for a combined missile/meson point blank volley. This time only a single missile hit while better than average frigate accuracy left a 3rd Jaguar an engineless cripple. This time a general full retreat was called. The next assault would require intentionally closing to point blank range to assure 100% microwave accuracy and every fighter would be required. With luck the Frigates would target the Jaguar's first letting the Scorpions live long enough to blind the frigates. If successful the reinforcement wave could then finish the job, but it would perfect timing, every fighter, and probably both Black Widows as well.

For their part the Frigates made a token effort to pursue before turning back after 25m km. In truth they had Annapolis scout in position this time to shadow the slower beam fighters back to wherever they came from.. and then disaster struck the Frigates. When shifting to 20m increments the Annapolis lost position and inadvertently closed to within active scanner range of the retreating fighters before they went dark and turned from their arbitrary retreat path toward the carriers. The Annapolis was back out of range on the next increment, but the fighters were suspicious of the sensor blip and ordered an undamaged Barracuda/Tarantula pair to fall back and cover the retreat. This time the Annapolis blundered fully into active scanner coverage and could not escape.

Coming next week: Act 3: Annapolis vs Tarantula and Act 4: The Final Assault.

*For added drama this Arena has been playing as if FTL communication does not extend through jump points. As a result the Beam Fighter's can't tell their reinforcements "Please delay entry" if they don't control their own jump point.
« Last Edit: January 21, 2018, 07:07:52 PM by sublight »

Offline Conscript Gary

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Re: Battle for Barnard's Star
« Reply #32 on: January 29, 2018, 03:00:03 PM »
Holy smokes, I was looking through some older threads and didn't exactly expect to see any updates! Fun stuff as always.


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