Author Topic: [SF] Theban Empire  (Read 11489 times)

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Offline Starslayer_D

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Re: [SF] Theban Empire
« Reply #195 on: March 05, 2016, 12:02:12 PM »
Ok, that was a long one with holidays etc. interfering. 55 Corvettes and many small craft made it quite a bit of work to set up and resolve. Turn 255 will bring another fight, and maybe again one where the allies will do good. I guess the red fleet may have to rethink their standard fleet composition a bit. Still, for now it's an uphill battle for the universe, and the red fleet will remain a danger for quite a while, mostly as unlike usual, they didn't tart with a tech disadvantage, nor a production disadvantage. all the races arrayed against them definitely have more production, but with the supply network rules, applying it is harder. And so far local superiority has been with the red fleet. But more and more allied races are deploying fighters now, and the Cartell, Undines, and Norse Yeti have been able to reverse engineer some technology. The Cartell has had the best of it, only lacking the second generation laser torpedoes and F2s...
 

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Re: [SF] Theban Empire
« Reply #196 on: March 12, 2016, 04:50:13 AM »
Month 254, Undine Expanses, Lithium system

wind lord sea Horse looked at his subordinate, considering what he should do about the newest report. "So after being newly assigned to survey fleet 2, you went over the local survey records? and you discovered that we had a warp point which was never probed, but also was not belonging to any known ally or contact?"
"Yes Sir! I immediately ordered a reconnaissance. And we found an unknown system beyond it, a binary with the main star being a clue giant. Thus we have a high probability of further warp points."
This was on one hand very welcome news, but.. to have overlooked this possibility faced with all the pain and losses of the last years... heads would certainly roll for this.

One week later, after the survey fleet had been dispatched into the new system, news came from the Chromium system, two jumps down the last intact old exploitation chain which formed the backbone of the central remnant of the undines realm. A contact had been sighted, and swiftly resolved into an invasion fleet from the red hulled aliens. again, the undine people had no resources at hand to stop the annihilation of their citizens. But the newest fleet for another liberation attempt for helium was assembling in lithium and was swiftly dispatched towards Chromium, hopefully in time to save the systems further down-chain from discovery. This force was almost twice as powerful as the last one lost in Helium, and included carriers from the Cartell and the Undines.

 

Offline Starslayer_D

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Re: [SF] Theban Empire
« Reply #197 on: April 02, 2016, 11:06:39 AM »
Month 255, Undine expanses, Chromium System

The joined fleet had raced into Chromium, only to find the system abandoned after the Lithium Fleet had raced through the system into Cobalt. The red hulled aliens had retreated before the combined fleet. Maybe they too were overextended? Nevertheless, Lithium fleet will remain in Cobalt and support the defences to be build there  on the Chromium warp point, supported by a carrier heavy expeditionary force from the somewhat overzealous but still allied fellow pinipedian life forms, the Church of the holy Seal, who thus joined the war alliance against the Red Fleet. The allied fleet returned to lithium to prepare for their foray into Helium to reconnect Tantalum.

Month 257, Undine expanses, Lithium
The allied fleet returned to Lithium just in time to encounter grave news. The Warp point leading from Lithium to Hafnium, a dead end worthless system had just been probed by a red fleet gun boat. Given the central importance of Lithium, all thoughts of leaving Lithium unattended were rejected, and although it hurt to abandon Tantalum, Lithium was even more important as it lay directly next to Ocean, the Undine home system.

Month 257, Theban empire, System 1962
The system 1962 had never received anything beyond a catalogue number as the Theban practice was only to grace habited systems or those found in their early explorations with a name. Also, the lifeless rock balls and gas giant moons of the system were nor really worth much given that the Thebans had found far more hospitable worlds elsewhere. But the system was a well travelled nexus, holding eight warp points leading to many systems with habitable worlds and within two jumps no less than seven other races. For all its importance, it was not in a core area of the empire, although close and connected to them by means of the warp lines radiating from it. and thus, it was not monitored regularly, given that the empire contained many such systems of importance, but had not the means to fortify al of them. But maybe monitoring might have been wise.
At least this was the thought of Ninth Lay Magician Khut as he watched the tactical display on his flag bridge. He was currently bringing back his command, the Survey Force 9  to the closest Yards at Nun, after having suffered maintenance failure staying overlong surveying Minkhat Secundus,a  rich prize indeed with several asteroid belts and a rich and benign world.
But now his fleet was in their passage detecting another survey force scattered over the system 1962, and just as he could observe them, the surveying ships converged towards a mutual assembly point somewhere ahead on his current course towards Nun.

Ouch...
 

Offline Paul M

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Re: [SF] Theban Empire
« Reply #198 on: April 06, 2016, 02:37:15 AM »
Month 256  RM Space Lucca System

The Torino Fleet idles by the WP leading to the race known as the Deutch Simiens, supporting it are the 3rd Carrier Group, the 2nd Bombarment Force and the 2nd Assault Group.  The Torino Fleet had been reinforced with 2 Alighieri Super Dreadnaughts and a single Dardo U4 Dreadnaught, and the 2nd Assault Group had 6 new Taifun CVBs.  The RMs contact group had spent several months learning the aliens language and had observed only Corvette sized vessels.  Two months previously they had achieved full communications and had, as per their orders, relayed an offer of Client Race Status to the aliens.  The aliens had summarily rejected this offer and the Synod had spent several weeks debating if they should, perhaps, undertake the required Diplomatic effort to gain the system.   The result was, unsprisingly, that they would not.  Fleetcom Haribo had the task of securing Lucca and capturing the prize the alien system represented.  A major land invasion force had been embarked on rented transports and it idled a system back from Lucca in Rimmi.  As the Torino Fleet has not been refit he still had the older Cavour U2 and Dardo U3 ships as part of his force, he had redistributed the missiles in his colliers to modernize his escorting BCs magazines.   The 2nd Bombardment Group carried 450 Prototype Deathblossems whose 3 missiles are armed with second generation laser warheads and 90 Prototype Deathblossems whose 3 missiles are armed with anti-matter warheads.  In total his force had 432 2nd Generation fighters split over 18 carriers plus another 39 fighters split over various other ships.

Simea System, WP4, Day:  19  Time: 090000

The disrupting effect of transiting a Warp Point hit Forcecom Vanto as he sat in his crash seat watching the tactical display.  Primary sensor systems were down but the more primitive passive and semi actives were able to give him information on the area surrounding the warp point.  He didn't think the aliens even knew how to make mines or buoys but it was better to waste a minute rather than find out the hard way.  The three Lauria assault dreadnaughts had arrived pointing more or less into the system and he could see the Taifun assault carriers arriving now pointing opposite and begining their turns.   A single pinnace transited in after the ships.   
"Contacts...corvette sized...3 LS bearing is forward...in arc of spinal weapons!" 
'Snack food.'
"Further contacts down range.  Drivefield only." 
The basic systems had a limit just under 7 LS and these targets were further away.  He activated his microphone.  "All ships:  Standard warheads, and all beams on target 2.  Hold external missiles.  Carriers engage target also."  The carriers had limited self defence weapondry at that range but it would not hurt to use it. 
As the ships were not in datagroup, and each dreadnaught had but two launchers, primarily intended for launching anti-minefield munitions the missiles were destroyed by the corvettes datalinked point defence but, unfortunately, for the corvette two of the dreadnaughts spinal force beam hit home and its shields went down.  The fire from the carriers was shot down unsurprisingly.  A corvette launched an anti-drive missile but it didn't manage to lock on to the disrupted drive fields of the first wave.

Time:  Assault+30 seconds

Three Garibaldi Assault Battleships transited in and began turning to line up with the dreadnaughts as the Taifuns launched their fighters, sending 12 squadrons into space; clearing their hanger decks and sliding back through the warp point as another 3 Taifuns arrived. 
"Datalink is up, sensors are up!  No mines detected...targets are...6 corvettes, 2 escort carriers...detecting launch of 2 fighter squadrons." 
'Snacks are fleeting...' 
"Force stand by to intiate pursuit. Put the tuner clock on my display." 
One pinnace exited the system and another arrived.  News of the assaults progress would be known.

The corvettes closest to the Warp Point turned to flee and the RMs capital ships remained on the WP, but the launched fighters moved outwards in pursuit, faster than the fleeing starships.  The strike contained 3 squadrons configured for CAP with all hardpoints loaded with lasers, 6 squadrons loaded with 2nd generation fighter missiles with laser warheads and a further 3 squadrons armed with lasers and a single fighter rocket for clean up. 
"Switch to laser warheads, target is one.  Target two one spinal and 4 energy, remaining on target 3." 
Damage indicators appeared over the ships.  The corvettes fired back but at this range their force beams were pinpricks to the dreadnaughts.  The battleships launched a single missile each at the first target.

Time: Assault+60 seconds

The RM capital ships surged off the warp point charging after the alien ships which bent and twisted as the other ships turned to flee.  The second trio of Taifuns launched a second strike wave of 12 squadrons before exiting the system.  The two fighter strikes manuvered to engage the further targets.  The corvettes fire was ignored by the RMs assault force and they launched concentrated fire against the corvettes that crippled a pair leaving them a powerless hulks and smashed a third into a mass of twisted wreckage.

Time:  Assault+90 to 180 seconds

The RM ships continued to advance after the fleeing aliens, the two strikes manuvering to box them in.  Although inside range of the SBMs of the ships they withheld their fire as the fighters were slowly but surely gaining on the fleeing aliens.

Time: Assault+240 seconds

The enemy fighters had turned to engage and the RMs CAP had manuevered slightly too agressively and the opposing forces squared off in a blistering head to head pass.  The aliens were armed with guns and the RM had lasers.  At near point blank range coherent light and mass driver slugs passed each other with the RMs more advanced fighters suffering 10 losses while the aliens lost only a few.  The laser might be longer ranged but for this task it was less effective.  The strikes antishipping fighters continued to maneuver aiming for a firing position 1.5 LS from the alien corvettes.

Time: Assault+270 seconds

The two decimated squadrons pulled out of the fight heading back towards the warp point while the other squadrons manuevered, this time less agressively and a furball of whirling ships and fighters ensued but the strike squardrons arrived at their launch point sending 18 fighter missiles from each squardon against the corvettes guarding the escort carriers and elimating them from the fight.  Acutally this didn't happen as Starslayer used FM1LT2 rather than FM2LT2 on the combat resolver...but in reality 2 volleys of 18 would remove them.  The RM fired on the alien fighters from outside their attack range and a few more fell...the aliens luck was amazing.  It was also true that the RM pilots were green and the chance to hit at this range was just not spectacular.  But now that the missile armed fighters had expended their missiles they could accelerate to full velocity and use their onboard weapons agains the alien fighters.

Time: Assault+330 seconds

The second strike wave arrived as the small carriers attempted to avoid the boxing fighters while their fighters tried to interpose themselves between the RMs fighters their mother ships.   The strike sent three groups of 18 missiles against the carriers turning them into shattered hulls.  The 9 remaining alien figthers were now alone.

It took some time to destroy the alien fighters, demonstrating that there was a drawback to the fighter laser when used by green crews, and validating the decision to make the gun armed defence fighter.

The 2nd Asssault Force had secured the warp point and its small craft were busy collecting alien survivors as the rest of the RMs ships transited in.  The 2nd Assault Force would remain on the WP securing it as the Torino Fleet supported by the 2nd Bombardment Group and the 3rd Carrier Force advanced on the planet.

Month 257 Day: 4

Fleetcom Haribo watched the returns of the 6 probe fighters from the comfort of his command bridge.  The scouting fighters were equipped with extra lifesupport and a powerful sensor package.  They swept around the planet at 7.5 LS scanning behind the moons and the planet itself. 
"Ah hah.  More Snacks." 
Well a great many more, some 54 corvettes and a dozen small carriers plus the 3 space stations and 3 bases larger even than his super dreadnaughts orbiting the planet.  He drummed his fingers on the tactical display.  His force outmassed the aliens and his missile heavy ships could destroy them at range.  He could sweep the fixed defences with the deathblossems his 3 bombardment dreadnaughts had on board.  Still as the aliens were faster than his ships they would likely be able to close and quantity had a quality of its own.  Plus that many fighter squadrons would mean a furball and further losses to his embarked fighters. 

"Get me the surviving senior officer."  He would give the infidels one last chance, unlikely they would take it of course, and frankly Fleetcom Haribo hoped they did not but this would be "fair" in the eyes of other infidels. 
The hatch opened and the alien officier was escorted in by marines.  "You will be allowed to speak to your homeworld.  You may say anything you wish, but I intend to offer them again the chance to become a client state, if they do not accept I will obliterate that pathetic excuse for a fleet and all orbital constructs then land my ground forces and capture your worlds.  You have a chance to prevent the loss of many lives on your side, use it well."  Haribo could see the panic in the alien.

"Communications, send to the aliens." 
"This is Fleetcom Haribo, I have been charged by the Synod to bring you into the Path of Truth.  You have rejected the Synod's offer of joining as a client and have so chosen the way of penance.  I have the ability to obliterate your defences and destroy your mobile forces when I wish.  I salute your willingness to die for your beliefs but I also wish to give you a final chance to reconsider your rejection of the generous terms of the Synod.  Know the Synod is angry at your rejection, but having been tested once you may view the next trial with a fresh perspective.   I urge you to choose well and wisely in the next 30 of your shorter time cycles.  This is the surviving senior officer from your guard force, their trial was brief but it earned them glory and honor, he is now free to speak to you."
Haribo gestured and the holocam swung to the alien bracketed by the two marines in combat armour, "You have five of your shorter time cycles, say what you wish."

Simea Corporate Command Bunker CEO Meeting Room

The room had several displays showing the alien ships as seen by ground telescopes and with the data collected in the brief combat at the warp point.  The scale difference between the Defence Forces ships and the Aliens was terrifying.   The alien ships hung too far out for detailed sensors sweeps except for their fighters but they were evident to other sensors.  The men and women here represented the heads of the various corporations which now ran the planet for the prolls and cons.   
"Vile creatures...what are they going on about...merger with them!  Our orbital defences are very strong...they will break on them!"  The grey furred chairman of the board was slaming his hands on the table as he spoke.  "They can perform unnatural acts with themselves before we merger with them!" 
The others looked at each other and back to the displays of the alien ships...each the equivelent of 7 of theirs. 
"They destroyed the 8 ships at the anomalie inside of minutes...we should consider this offer!"  The speaker was wide eyed staring at the updated information and what their officer was saying now about what he had seen on the alien ships. 
"They did recover our crews"  Another voice pointed out. 
"Have you no backbones?"  The bases and stations will defend us!"  The Chairman sounded sure.  "We vote, then we tell them to bring it on!"  His confidence was obvious...but in the background the voice of the officer continued to describe the alien vessels power.

The vote was a show of hands and when called, unlike the last time, there was a lot of reluctance as the Chairman called for rejecting the aliens offer. 
"No!  We can't just accept a merger with those preachy comps!  I invoke my right as Chairman to disre..." The pellet made no sound as it was supersonic, but the Chairman spasmed as his chest cavity was mangled by its passage through him and the chair he was sitting in. 
"Change of leadership time."  The voice was quiet in silence after the crack of the discharge ended.  "Those Aliens live for war so far as we could tell during our negotiations...we have a choice of bending or being broken...I say we bend and let our companies survive...what say you to accepting the aliens offer?"  No one failed to notice that pistol had not been lowered.  Eleven hands went up.

"Say again?  They accepted the offer...?"  Fleetcom Haribo, asked. 
"Yes Sir!  The Chairman of the Board just sent us a message saying they accept with all gratitude the Synods offer of a Merger...and they have told their fleet to stand down." 
"Thank you...get the ambassador up here and tell him to get to work."  Fleetcom Haribo shook his head, 'Aliens...were just alien at times.'
I made the offer more or less proforma...and Starslayer rolled a natural 100...so they accepted and no battle.  Given I had 144 fighters and 450 sbmhawks and he had 180 fighters that was probably just as well for our sanity but it was a surprise ending to say the least.  I'm sure I would have won but may have lost a few ships just due to the numbers.  I had planned on using the 450 LT2 armed SBMHAWKs to attack the fixed defences.  That would leave 90 SBMHAWKs with AM for the podroller DNs to use or to launch into the onrushing CTs.  The RM is missile heavy with 35 Rc per data group so the CTs likely would have suffered serious losses on the approach.  The BC and CAE anti-fighter screen could also do major damage to a fighter strike with AFM.  Overall once the CTs got into beam range the BCs had Ec to back up their Wa.  Also at the range their Fs were effective the RM would be using sprint mode SMa's as return fire.

RM Force:
Torino Fleet
2 Alighieri SD (2 F2(G) squadrons)
3 Dardo U3 DN
1 Dardo U4 DN
6 Cavour U2 BC
3 Diciotte CTE
3 Littorio II CT
3 Doria CT

3rd Carrier Force
3 Saetta CV (12 F2(L) squadrons)
3 Folgore CVL (12 F2(L) squadrons)
1 Cavour U3 BC
2 Impavadio U1 CAE
1 Diciotte CTE
1 Littorio II CT
2 Doria CT

2nd Bombardment Force
3 Umberto DN (3 F2(G) squadrons)
3 Albona CT
(450 SBMHAWK(LT2), 90 SBMHAWK(AM))

« Last Edit: May 03, 2016, 04:55:59 AM by Paul M »
 

Offline Starslayer_D

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Re: [SF] Theban Empire
« Reply #199 on: April 12, 2016, 03:23:03 PM »
Month 257, Theban empire, Nun fleet base

The last courier drone from Lay Magician Khut had been quite expletive... he had cursed the cheap ass fleet bureaucracy for denying his ships the modern weapons and defences they could have used to .. die less one sided. But something had to be done to modernise the survey fleets, give that with a few months three had fallen to enemy action. in theory the concept was sound, but anti-matter warheads and advanced missile launchers might have made a difference, as well as maybe some more escorting ships. As a stop-gag, the Andromedan survey fleet could be split up to provide each survey fleet with two survey frigates with a force beam. But modernisation, especially of the fighters, was called for.
The contact in system 1962 had turned out to be another force of six red fleet light cruisers. But unlike the others, these had been armed with force beams. Small consolidation for the survey ships, which thanks to their damaged engines could not even attempt to outrun them. At least Lay magician Khut had sold the lives of hi command dearly, eliminating all gun boats launched at his ships and heavily damaging one of the hostile cruisers. But small salvoes of missiles did not do much against the advanced point defences and heavy passives of the hostile ships. Interestingly enough, they to seemed to have suffered some maintenance failures, as not all used their beam, and some had been slowed as well.
It might be costly, but to prevent a revolt among the survey specialists, it was proposed to add another escort carrier to each survey fleet and a trio of patrol battle cruisers including a command ship, as these could keep up with the survey ships due to sharing the commercial engines. At the least, this would handle any further attacks by small cruiser forces roughly. And provide a solid pool of well trained battle cruisers should the need arise.
 

Offline Paul M

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Re: [SF] Theban Empire
« Reply #200 on: April 20, 2016, 03:01:15 AM »
Month 257, Benthian Space, Saint-Etienne System, Planet A3 Moon 5 Resource Extraction Facility

The Scan Assistant's tentales were curling and uncurling with nervous tension as the the Lesser Under Viceroi incharge of the primary refinery considered the holotank.  It showed a ship where no ship should be.  The transports with more equipment and workers had come and gone; taking with them the last months production.  Local traffic was still non-existant, meaning the traffic control center wasn't even usually occupied.
Lesser Under Viceroi Marpo was thinking furiously.  Since the Red Aliens ship had "probed" Blue Lagoon there had been clear directives sent out.  This system, Saint-Etainne, was connected to the system Nice via a closed warp point.  There was another REF on a moon of the only gas giant present in the binary system's companion red dwarf star.  The ship could detect this colony in less than a day.  Communication with the other REF was hampered by a 5 hour transmission time lag each way.  Saint-Etienne was also not connected to the ICN, as the settlement was still in early days; leaving the REFs with only their single emergency courier drone.  'Aliens....again...here!' 
"Communications, this is Marpo, I want to establish a tight beam data stream channel to the other colony.  I also want you to prep the drone for launch, and establish a data feed to its memory core from our orbital array."  She looked at the contact icon floating in the holotank and her tentacles curled.  "I'll be in my office preparing some messages...send a first contact message to that ship."   

Saint-Etienne System, Companion Star Planet B1 Moon 2 Resource Extraction Facility

Two days later, at the REF on a moon orbiting a gas giant in the companion system, Lesser Under Viceroi Huclair was wrapping his tentacles around himself in shock as the feed from the other REF cut off.  The alien ship had closed with the other colony without ever responding to communications attempts.  The ship itself was hard to spot against the background stars, being matte black and shaped vaguely like an ancient water predator of Sea (or the Benthians themselves) with a main body and several trailing tentacles.  Seen from the orbital array's telescope feeds the ship had closed and then had begun to engage the REFs facilities with what appeared to be a particle beam; judging by the systematic power failures the data sidestream showed.  At the same time the ship engaged the orbital communications and sensor arrays with secondary weapons.  As the pictures were 5 hours old, by this time, the ship had destroyed the other REFs power and lifesupport infrastructure.  He knew the other colony had launched its drone after the ship had not responded to hails and had continued to close.  He looked over at the tech responsible for the drone.  "Program a longer course skirting the primary system, and when you are done launch."

While around 2 million Benthians worked in St-Etienne, that number now halved, in the next system Nice was a habitable world, Carrefour, with 86.7 million people.  Nice was also a junction system with a total of 8 warp points.  The drone launched by the other REF was nearly at the warp point, this drone would take some 5 days to make the trip due to the additional leg programed into its flight path.  A patrol group was nearby but it would take time to contact it and days for it to respond.

The second drone was still under way when the remaining REF detected an alien ship approaching, two days later it established orbit and systematically destroyed all Benthian facitlies on the moon ignoring all attempts at communications.

Aftermath

Patrol Group 5 was ordered to secure the WP leading to Saint-Etienne, in Nantes 3eme Flotte de Sea and a minelaying group were cut orders to proceed to Nice, and an aid request was sent to the Shanirians.  The Benthian's two combat fleets were tied down by the Red Alien incursions and this third threat left them very short handed to respond.  The destruction of one REF and the presumed destruction of the other angred the Benthians but Carrefour was undefended and had 40 times the population.  The warp point in Saint-Etienne was closed, so long as no ship transited it in the range of an enemy ship's sensors the Aliens were blocked from Benthian space.  Until some defences could be established in Nice, discretion had to be maintained.
« Last Edit: April 21, 2016, 05:21:32 AM by Paul M »
 

Offline Starslayer_D

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Re: [SF] Theban Empire
« Reply #201 on: April 30, 2016, 01:48:44 PM »
Month 259, Theban empire, Irtisen Secundus system
*Another planet, another reassuring visit to the local colonists, another dinner, and back on the patrol loop.* Patrol Force Two was a fleet command, but not an exiting one
for Third Lay Magician Sekeret. For the last two years and five months he had been doing a loop of outlying systems, showing presence and hoping for a promotion away from this task. *At least the crew are happy, as they do get fairly often leave to visit a planet where the fleet is welcome, have a drink, see pretty girls, and be far away
before any father with a shotgun shows up. Anyway, time to descend into orbit.*
"Sir, local traffic controll is requesting our attention." "Yes, Communications, what do they have?" "sir, they are tracking converging inbounds." That was unusual...  when
probing a system, one tries not to seem threatening towards any local species. 2do we have a vector?2 2Sir, they seem to be heading for a meeting point about four light minutes off planet." "Ok, they must know we are here, but at a guess not our strength. Contact Captain Malingar and Captain Te-amun, they are to stay behind the planet with Setekh 15 and Setekh 16, while we stay on the inbound side. Maybe we can provide a little surprise."
soon the other two battle cruisers of the patrol force changed their vector and slid behind the fragile blue orb with 11 million theban colonists, while six unknown contacts converged slowly before closing in on the planet.

"Sir, we have an identification. These appear to be engines as used by the red hulled aliens we have hostilities with." Hostilities was a mild word for seven burned planets
and millions of dead, not to speak of three survey fleets and ships assembled in Pedise to support the Cannon Cartell. His choices were limited, though. Irtisen was just a 
small planet, but the warp point leading into the system was closed. Thus he could not retreat  and risk being shadowed to it, and besides.. eleven million people, and
those pretty girls.
It was time, the hostiles closed in. "Sir, we confirm, six light cruisers, and now detaching thirty gunboats." As the gun boats closed to five light seconds, the other two battle cruisers slid from behind the planet to join their flag-ship. Evidently caught by surprise, the gun boats where just three light seconds away, right in optimal range for the theban advanced missile launchers. The huge and expensive electronics on board of his flag-ship went into action, and with four salvoes spread across four wings of the incoming swarm of attack craft, enough were on target to penetrate their point defence and eliminate twelve gunboats in one exchange of fire. Cheers broke out on the bridge at this, only to swiftly abate as the crew returned to their duty.
"Heading sixty to port, engage in second degree engine modulation!" Aye Aye sir, sixty to port, modulating2 responded the helm. The modern theban cruisers were as nimble as their small foes, and now these had the choice to close in or suffer long range fire. Close in they did, but they also started to modulate to throw off the theban fire control. But this was not enough, only three scattered gunboats somehow evaded the fireballs which swatted their comrades out of the sky, their point defence negated by the sprint mode launch. Also, three theban SBM from their external ordinance racks slammed into one of the light cruisers. These also did not break of, most likely not to reveal their entrance warp point as well.

The light cruisers closed quickly, met by the theban battle cruiser, but their force beams could only scratch the shields of Setekh 16, while in return at just under two light seconds the theban missiles could be fired in sprint mode, penetrating the defences of one light cruiser and damaging the shields and armour on a second one. Undeterred, the enemy light cruisers closed in again but for the one which had lost engines, while the theban ships started heavy modulations again. Sudenly an astonished cry came from as rogation: "Sir, they are on ramming course on Setekh 15!" Again, the aliens had a surprise for the races of the galaxy, as five light cruisers tried to meet the wildly evading battle cruiser head on. Only one ship was on a directly convergent course, and despite some desperate close range fire, it crashed into Setekh 15 and both ships vanished into a titanic fireball. The slightly damaged one from before was whipped out by a sprint mode salvo, but another salvo failed to penetrate a third ships passives. Luckily the red fleets cruisers had to turn around before following the diminished patrol fleet, but as the Setekh class was only equipped with commercial engines, they stayed on the patrol fleets tail. Both damaged ships were slowed to a crawl by the first salvo split between them, but one of the undamaged light cruisers again proved to be very resilient and only lost its shields and a massive chunk of armour. In return, they eliminated the last armour from Setekh 16. again the last two swift light cruisers tried to ram, this time the flag ship, but failed. Both ships now lost their passives and some engines, but not their force beams, and thus Setekh 16 lost two engine rooms. But the hostiles were not on a convergent course, and thus the patrol force managed to gain some distance. This proved to be the last exchange of fire. While they managed a defiant last broadside of force beams into Setekh 16, damaging her further, their mobility and weapons were eliminated in the response, allowing the lay magicians fleet to mob them up at leisure despite some feeble attempts to close the distance. For the first time, the theban navy had gained a victory against the red fleet, and was able to inspect the wreckage.

 

Offline Paul M

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Re: [SF] Theban Empire
« Reply #202 on: May 18, 2016, 08:40:16 AM »
Month 260 Shanirian Space  System 1474 Bridge of Discovery 10 (Lead Ship of SF4)

Centurian Hans Black spoke quietly, "Put it on the main tank." 

"Searcher 12 has closed to 15 LS range, visual identification protocols initiated.  Comms send the data on a side band.  Lets see what they look like."
"Warbook identification running sir."
"Alien ship still closing, confirm light cruiser hull and military engines."
"It isn't the Red Ships sir."
"Any response to our communications?"
"None sir."
"Full alert, combat meld."
"Warbook identification 90% and climbing.  Its...its..."
"Sir...target separations...we now have six inbounds...5 are accelerating."
"Pinnaces?"
"Too strong a field...but size is very small for a ship."
"Warbook thinks they are the Squid's colony killers."
"Weapons...talk to me."
"Tracking inbounds...signal strength...very high for a small craft...locking...locking...target locked.  Range 3 LS."
"Fire!"
"XO launch...targets have point defence!  All missiles destroyed."
"Engaging target...target destroyed."
"Helm keep the range open for as long as possible."
"Communications?"
"Nothing! Loosing linkage to Suzzy 1, omnibroadcast."
"Fire!"
"Target engaged...target destroyed."
"Hostile targeting systems all craft."
The sound of emergency alarms.
"Hits to outer hull areas sir.  Shields up looked to be small craft laser."
"Firing!  Missed.  Targets closing!"
"Firing!"

The transmission cut off. 
"Sir fragmentary data in the sideband indicates serious structural failing and depressurization of multiple compartments."
"What have we got on the attackers?"
The tank changed to show three pictures and a wire frame.  "On the left are the ships engaged by Searcher 12.  The right is the data from the Squid colonies."
Centurian Black nods and manipulates the pictures rotating them and zooming them in and out.  "Not enough data for a wireframe?" 
"Too broken up sir"
"Warbook?" 
"Warbook makes it a match just like Searcher 12 said." 
"How long till the message gets to Suzzy 1?" 
"Another 33 minutes." 

He nods, at that point they could establish a two way tight beam link.  "We have to warn Nova Vox, assemble the rest of the survey force and then get out of here."  The survey force was scattered as they had been surveying the companion stars worlds and were now spread out doing a warp point survey.  Luckily they had a Communications Array on the Survey Support Vessel (affectionately known as Suzzy to the survery crews) that could contact any ship pretty much anywhere in system with a tight beam link but both sides needed to know where their target was.  Discovery 10 was currently holding the position it had transmitted to the Suzzy and would do so until the linkage was active.  Right now his ships could talk to the Suzzy as they all knew where she was, but she could only talk back in a way that revealed her location to the aliens. 


"We can hold the Warp Point...we have a full load of mines and buoys...but in deep space they will slaughter us." Discovery's executive officer summarized.
"How many of those lighter cruisers?" Centurian Black asked for the entrails to be read.
"Six at a minimum but could be as many as 12."  With that statement the rest of the assembled command group nodded.  This size was typical for most star nations survey forces.
"Thirty to sixty of those odd craft...not good odds in deep space."
"Preliminary data shows they have a drive field that is nearly starships strength.  Much greater than a small craft even an armed pinnace.  But they died to single laser hits, so not as sturdy as a starship."  "They had point defence but how effective is harder to say...knocked out the Searchers missiles but she had only 4, with poor locks and from external racks."  Discovery 10 was a light cruiser but her weapons were that of a destroyer so even with the full data group assembled they didn't launch overwhelming salvos...so point defence made them less effective...possibly significantly so.


The communications went out and over the next day the rest of the survey force made contact and the line of ships began to contract on itself and then oriented on a rendevous point before heading back to their entrance warp point.  They were unmolested by the aliens who were likely engaged in the same task but possibly having a much harder time assembling due to the lack of a communications ship.


While that was going on a message from SSV1 had been sent to the buoy on the other side of the WP and from there the warning spread to the planets of Valentina system, and further up the buoy chain to Nova Vox, the sector capital two systems away, and from there to Tarantum Fleet Base, home of 2nd Fleet, and further to Shanir itself.  Two systems, one claimed by the Theban Empire and the other by the Northern Lizards were connected to Valentina two other warp points.  Informing them that the genocidal "Black" aliens had made there presence known was just being neighborly.  Along with that warning was the suggestion of a regional defence pact and system data.  The first contact system for the "Red" aliens and the Squids was only two transits from Valentina as well.  This encounter was a true can of worms that no one particularily wanted opened.

//the image below shows the WP connections for this area...hard to see how much worse it could get!!//

« Last Edit: May 26, 2016, 02:01:45 PM by Paul M »
 

Offline Starslayer_D

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Re: [SF] Theban Empire
« Reply #203 on: May 19, 2016, 03:31:01 AM »
(I'd trade your situation for the one the thebans are in in regards to the red fleet guys. I mean..  I have about 25+ habitable worlds within 2 jumps of the multiple contact points. :) )
 

Offline Paul M

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Re: [SF] Theban Empire
« Reply #204 on: May 20, 2016, 11:27:04 PM »
((Not to make too fine a point on it but...between the Blacks and Reds and the Squids and the Shanirians there is also 25+ habitable worlds at risk inside of 2 transits.   Luckily the Reds are quiet but that ties down a lot of ships regardless.   Grass and fences and such at play here. :)  ))
 

Offline Paul M

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Re: [SF] Theban Empire
« Reply #205 on: May 26, 2016, 02:52:37 PM »
Ok...looking at the situation:

Contact in System 1475 occurred on day 22, month 260 (rolling randomly for when in the week the encounter took place).  The ships of SF4 took at least 1 day getting organized and finding out what was going on and then spent the next 7 days exiting the system, worst case not all ships will be out by the end of the month as the warp point is way out in the boonies.

The alert message is sent on day 23 via the ICN.  It arrives on the planets 5 hours later and causes panic all over the place.  It arrives in Nova Vox Sector Command HQ 21 hours later, and orders are cut for TG22.1 to proceed to Valentia but it isn't until 27 hours that the orders reach the ships.  They start moving basically on day 25 (so the last possible STMP they can move in).  The message reaches Tarantum Fleet base day 24 and on day 25 2nd Fleet breaks orbit heading for Valentia (again last possible STMP they can move in).  It is 31 hours after it reached Tarantum that it reaches Shanir so day 25 and change.  It takes several hours for the data to be evaluated and then political issues have to be dealt with.  Day 26 messages start out to the Theban's and Northern Lizards.  No idea at this point when the arrive as I'm not sure the distances involved to their Homeworlds and then from there to their fleets, but there is no longer time for them to respond this turn.

The Shanirian's are providing supply access to both of them. 
 

Offline Paul M

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Re: [SF] Theban Empire
« Reply #206 on: October 30, 2016, 03:36:28 PM »
Month 263 Shanirian Space Valentina System WP4 to System 1475

In the last 3 months the situation around the WP leading to System 1475 had changed, and for the better.  Although the ships of SF4 that had mounted a guard on the opposite side had been pushed out by an oncoming alien force of 6 ships this side had been substantially reinforced.   Second Fleet elements were present relieving the survey ships of their guard duty.  The fleets support group had thickened the mine and buoy field surrounding the warp point.  TG21.1 and TF20 as well as Second Fleet's command group were present, as well the SDC (Shanirian Diplomatic Corps) had managed to convince the governments of the Theban Empire and the Northern Lizards to meet the aliens jointly at this warp point rather than defending alone.  The Thebans had sent in a force of 3 BCs, 3 CAs, 3 CVs plus a screen of lighter ships under the command of Magician Hatshesub.  The Northern Lizards had sent 3 Grendel class BCs and 3 Odin class CVLs under the command of Dregur Ase Haraldsson.

The planet Haridan was working on building more defense bases, while waiting on the delivery of its prefabricated fleet base.  The other planet in the system Antonine was being evacuated with a substantial fraction of the population scheduled to leave this month for the Vectis System.   Prefabricated bases had also arrived cleaning out the Shanirian's stockpile and they were currently under assembly in Haridan orbit.

Day 8 CIC of CL(C) Tiberius (Flagship of Second Fleet)

Commanding Officer of the 2nd Fleet Legatus Valery Bloch was speaking by tight beam with the CO of TF20 Tribune Edna Daystorm who was currently onboard her flagship a Hasta class Battlecruiser.

"Well the SDC worked wonders getting the aliens here, but they have orders to defend this warp point."  The ships being there were a gift beyond price but a working command system would be her next priority.  Both alien commanders had been clear what there orders were.  She just as clearly wanted to push the aliens out so she could get SF4 back into the system to finish its survey.
"Well Val,"  Edna spoke with familiarity as they had worked together for a considerable time, "it does mean that our backs are well protected."
"That is true."  The allied aliens had 6 Battlecruisers plus carriers.  "I can't demand they assist as they are just following orders and frankly, them defending the warp point is a weight off my shoulders."
"Yeah, but we lost two pinnaces and their crews getting that intel it would be a shame if we could not use it."  Tribune Daystorm's Battlecruisers had contributed the small craft scouts and the last crew had returned with the news that nothing but 2 assault shuttles was within 5 LS of the warp point itself.
"We have to get them out of that system before they get reinforcements."  Legatus Block could feel the weight of the 8.2 million citizens still on Haridan and wanted the battles to be fought away from this systems warp point.  But it had taken time to sail from Tarentum and TG21.1 which had arrived earlier had not enough ships to challenge the aliens.  "That means we have to go now."
"Yes, the clock is ticking that is for sure."  Both sides must have reinforcements in the pipe but it was a case of first-est with the most-est.
"Alright, TF20 will lead, I'll come in the second wave, and then we bring the pinnace transports through with the 3rd and 4th wave."  The Plaga class was not intended for assaults but it would allow them to bring the pinnaces through faster than bringing them through 7 pinnaces at a time.
"It isn't like we have a load of options Val."
"No we don't set it up, give the crews a final briefing and we go in 9 hours."

Legatus Block then drafted a message for her allies and let them know they would be attacking, and another message to Centurion Alyessa Sulu (CO of TG21.1) that she would be taking over command of the defenses.   The allies would outmass the remaining Shanirian ships but she wanted the chain of command at least to be slightly less confusing.

Day 8, 1615  System 1475 WP to Valentina (Bridge of Hasta 10, Flagship TF20)

Three Hasta class Battlecruisers exited the warp point moving away and forming up just outside its event horizon facing slightly offset from a line to the star, following them through were three Spatha class heavy cruisers which took up position 120° to their port, then a pair of Drusus class scout corvettes slid in system one facing each way offset 60° from each group of ships.
"Sensors show a contact at 7 LS and the two assault shuttles Ma'am."  The Battlecruisers bridge was bustling but with nothing obvious in range outside of the two small craft it looked like things were going according to ...
The crews of the two scout ships decided to engage the assault shuttle with their lasers when the small craft fired back and the area around Drusus 002 suddenly became filled with ablated armour and the ships drive field fluctuated as an amplifier room was smashed.
"What!?!  Take our anti-small craft point defense off anti-missile work...order the other two Hasta's to use theirs as well."
The other small craft fired on the Drusus and the small warship shudder as amplifiers went down and the lasers bit deep into the ship.  The Battle cruisers transit addled anti small craft defenses swept both assault shuttles with laser fire and one of the assault shuttles shattered as several gunners got lucky.

The next wave consisting of a Gladius class light cruiser and her Lancea class destroyer consorts plus the CL(C) Tiberius and her two escorting Scutum class DDEs.   The surviving assault shuttle heads away from the warp point while the Shanirian ships remain in position awaiting the information from their now active sensors.  Those same sensors confirm that there are only 6 enemy CLs at 7 LS.   None of the Shanirian weapons can fire on the fleeing assault shuttle.  The Drusus class scouts return through the warp point, one due to battle damage and the other due to having captured data on the alien assault shuttle.

Now confirming the lack of a minefield the first twelve ships head towards the withdrawing aliens and another two Gladius and Lanceas transit through plus the 4 Plagas and their Scutum class escorts.  They are 3 LS behind the main force.  Unfortunately the enemy light crusiers are outside of range of any weapons TF20 has outside of her embarked pinnaces.

....

The aliens withdraw, launching their small craft which form a tight globe around the 6 light cruisers.   Legatus Bloch orders the Plaga's to launch their 12 squadrons of pinnaces which start their slow way forward closing on the light cruisers by a half a light second every minute.  The crews on the pinnaces keep a watchful eye on the enemy small craft as they edge closer while Legatus Bloch watches the slow closure on her tank.  The pinnaces are 2.5 LS from the alien ships when sudden they open fire revealing a weapon system the Shanirians didn't know existed.  The ships fire 2 salvos of 9 missiles per data group.   A squadron of pinnaces is targeted by each salvo and the pinnaces onboard weapons open up in defence of the small craft, still 4 of the 6 targeted pinnaces disintegrate under the fire of the alien weapon system.
"Recall them!"  Legatus Bloch orders quickly as it will be another 4 or 5 salvos like that before the pinnaces can respond and that will cost them most of the strike plus there was still the 30 odd craft.   The thirty two surviving pinnaces reverse course and the range opens up again.  The alien surprise was a bad one and the pinnaces return to their mother ships, the crews shaken.  The range of the weapon and its effectiveness was devastating compared to their missiles and onboard lasers.

...

The pursuit continues both sides settling in to see what happens.
"Contact!"
"What have you got?"
"Extreme range drive fields, must be ships."
Legatus Bloch contacts Tribune Daystrom but at this range they only know one or more drive fields are present and a rough idea of where.  They don't have anything they can send to check it out so they hold their course until a day and half later when the target closes to within 12 LM and then they get a reading of the numbers.

"Thirty six contacts Val, we have to turn back."  TF20 had a total of 24 ships, but almost half were destroyers.
"Yes.  Even if they are another group of light cruisers that is another 180 of those odd parasites they carry.  That will wash over us like a wave."
She contacts the frigate waiting on the warp point via a tight beam transmission and orders it to get a ship over there to recover as much wreckage from the assault shuttle as possible.  At this range the enemy ships will not be able to detect the additional ships drive field.

...

TF20 reversed course and the alien light cruisers also came about pursuing the now withdrawing Shanirian force.  The formation split meant the ships could slip through the warp point ahead of the enemy vessels sufficiently that the parasites could not safely charge and the enemy elected to not do so.  Unfortunately, the enemy light cruisers prevented any attempts to recon the oncoming enemy force.  The waiting Frigate slips back over when the ships of TF20 reach a range of 15 LS from the warp point.

Back in Valentina Legatus Bloch updates her allied commanders and sends a message to Admiralty house via the ICN.   She knows there are substantial forces moving up but will the arrive before the enemy decides to try an attack or not?

The crew of Drusus 2 had managed to enact emergency repairs on their life support systems patching the holes in their pressure hull plus bringing 2 amplifiers back online, accompanied by the Drusus the pair of corvettes set sail for Nova Vox and the facilities there.  The Drusus would be back early next month after downloading the details of the enemies advanced small craft, the wreckage was examined in Valentina.
« Last Edit: October 31, 2016, 02:03:35 AM by Paul M »
 

Offline Starslayer_D

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Re: [SF] Theban Empire
« Reply #207 on: November 25, 2016, 11:36:19 AM »
Month 265, Undine Space, Helium System, day 9, once again into the breach...

First Warleader Giovanni Gambesone wondered what those charged by the capi de tuti capii to enter this system and help their undine allies might have thought when they met their doom in this expanse of rocks, asteroids, lifeless worlds all lit in a reddish glare from its orange primary and red companion. For real estate this system was pretty not much but for the wealth of its four substantial belts. But strategically it was priceless. Maybe it was foolish to return here, but the eight inhabited systems cut off from the main undine expanses had demanded attention. Ok.. seven systems now, the implacable aliens in their red hulled ships had apparently managed to find the isolated Neon system and eradicated it. But Tantalum at least was able to get updated blueprints and release its guarding fleet for a desperately needed upgrade by moving in here together with the retribution fleet of the undines.
Now the combined might of the Undines and the Cartell guarded the warp point towards Tungsten, where the whole long, drawn out war had started. Privately he was less sure about the wisdom of focusing here, as there were at least two other open points of contact. But also here was the only one where no fixed defenses had been emplaced. Maybe once the Undines got their disorganised selves to build some they could release the fleet gathered here. But having lost so many systems, the undines suffered financial strain.
Still, the foe behaved way less aggressive than before, retreating from the system before the combined fleet. Now, with the reinforcements liberated from Tantalum, it was a mighty force indeed.
The Cartell had brought a combination of the Undine support force and the now defunct Bullet relief force, with nine Killer IV Battleships, twelve Shotgun escort battle cruisers, six Creeper class battle cruisers, twelve carnage class heavy cruisers and twenty Obliterator IV destroyers. These guarded three Butcher class carriers with thirteen Bushwhacker IV light carriers and four Bloodmaker strike carriers. Together these provided 304 improved strike fighters, a few less than their full complements but some had been lost due to accidents.
(ok, somehow 43 fighters went awol... *shrug*. It didn't make a difference)
These were joined by the undines nine Tango Class battleships, nine whiskey class Battle cruisers, fifteen whiskey class battle cruisers, twelve Romeo class heavy cruisers and nine Alpha class light carriers, providing 108 prototype fighters.
now the fleets had settled in and waited, and a week ago the foe had probed the situation with at least one pinnace. having learned from past battle reports, Gambesonne elected to have his fleet stand somewhat back, at four and a half light second, with the heavy cruisers, destroyers and carriers even further back. No use having the enemy kill his lighter combatants right away. Admittedly, the capital force beams now employed allowed a more distant stance than before. The undines joined his stance, just their carriers stayed even further back, way out of reach from missiles. Anyway, as he watched the quietly humming activity from his flag bridge, something changed....
"Contact! Contact! One,.. two, .. three...  four...five.. six... multiple.. whohaa.. Sir... we have six heavies and  lot of small craft.. sensors overloaded by interpenetration glares."
The sensor techs sounded quite exited, but understandably so. Six dreadnaughts had emerged from the warp point, followed by forty-five destroyers, three hundred and sixty gunboats and two hundred and sixteen armed pinnaces. The gunboats were joined by a further 96 from the dreadnaughts racks, and though some died by interpenetrations, that still left almost four hundred gunboats and one hundred eighty one pinnaces on the warp point., swarming around the thirty-nine surviving destroyers.
Alert gunnery crews started to exchange fire with the leading dreadnaught, whose capital missile fire revealed it to be a catapult class ship, as his compatriots. They all focused on an undine Victor class battle cruiser, sending explosion after explosion into the hapless ships passive defences, stripping away shields and armour until an engine room died in the fire. In return, the Catapult was relieved of some of its massive shields, while the destroyers send wave after wave of missiles into the minefield, eroding them into nothingness.
"All ships, advance on course hundred twenty degrees from the warp point!" The allied fleet warmed up its engines and put some distance between itself and the point, making the small craft come to them. Lead by the pinnaces, who tested the absence of the minefield by advancing into it, the swarm pounced, followed by the destroyers while another six dreadnaughts emerged. This time demolishers. Apparently the foe only had its usual complement of heavies. But where did all those small craft come from? The war leader definitely was happy that he didn't have to meet this fleet in deep space, but maybe the two months his force had spend in Helium had been necessary for the foe to concentrate his force? still, this hinted at quite some fleets close by. Or maybe they had upset the red aliens own plans? Who knew?
Furious fire between the destroyers and the defenders left another Victor damaged, and four destroyers damaged and one destroyed. Such light craft had shown their uses against smaller fleets, but the concentrated firepower here was deadly. still, fourteen of the destroyers were of a new type with four advanced missile launchers each. Maybe the aliens had planned them for a use against tantalum, which utilised a lot of fighters in its defence? Next the allied fire shifted to the approaching gun boats, but range and them being difficult targets accounted only for twenty-two of them.
But this changed in the next exchange. One hundred and nine gunboats died, along with several destroyers damaged, and one Catapult loosing most of its engines. In return, only one Victor class battle cruiser lost its defences. But then the gunboats, destroyers and the evading allied fleet all converged.
The gunboats rapidly melted under the fire of the converging allied fleet, including the closing heavy cruisers and destroyers. After they ran out of gunboats the allies started to savage the red fleets destroyers. But it was not all one-sided, the destroyers and gunboats managed to get shots off themselves, and although not at point blank range, still it was enough to destroy four shotgun class battle cruisers and heavily damage a fifth and destroy three undine Victor class battle cruisers and damage a fourth. While the allied fleet continued to run before the still dangerous armed pinnaces, the launched Cartell fighters swept closer and the CAP dove into the pinnaces.
There they reaped small craft i droves, leaving 65 dead after them, but loosing sixteen of their number. Meanwhile the armed pinnaces picked apart the damaged shotgun class battle cruiser, and then went to eliminate a Creeper class battle cruiser. Together with the red fleets destroyers they damaged another two, including one whose main damage was having its magazines rendered inoperable by needle beams, but with the escorting heavy cruisers and battle cruisers, all destroyers and armed pinnaces were eliminated. But the foe now had twelve dreadnaughts and battleships and six battle cruisers of its own and another 260 gun boats on the warp point. Undaunted, the allied fleet drove closer, bringing all its weapons to bear but for the still closing fighters. Strangely enough, the red fleet transited out its beam armed Demolishers, together with their gunboats. The ensuing exchange of fire saw a Catapult obliterated and another damaged, but also lost the cartell two Creeper class battle cruisers. Then the surviving catapults transited out with their gunboats docked, followed by the twelve battleships and six battle cruisers warping out together before the allied fighters and the fleet approached into range to deal serious damage.

First Warleader Giovanni Gambesone saw tem leave with relief. Yes he could have killed even more heavy ships had they stayed, but also the hostile gunboats would have been able to pounce upon his ships and kill even more of them. But the battle had been costly, three Whiskeys destroyed and one damaged for the undines, and his own fleet five Shotguns and three Creepers destroyed, an obliterator gutted, and another Creeper unable to fire its main broadside launchers. For all this they had damaged three dreadnaughts and killed one, but then only 42 destroyers and four hundred gunboats and two hundred armed pinnaces. Privately he thought that the red fleet had once again done better, with its looses more easily replaced. On the other hand, they had shown that they could destroy huge numbers of gunboats and small craft with relative ease, and they had blunted a major assault, and retailed Helium as a hub system. Now they could stand down and deal with potential hostile populations on once undine worlds branching from Helium.


Ok, I tried a more cinematic style, not writing down each individual salvo for easier reading and faster write-ups. Hope its better. Also you know your campaign is different when the local hive mind simul transits OUT to save its ships.
 

 

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