Author Topic: Excerpts from the Encyclopedia Obsidiana (Battle of Luyten 143-23 and others)  (Read 1280 times)

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Offline obsidian_green

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Excerpt from the Encyclopedia Obsidiana.

Battle of Luyten 143-23

The Battle of Luyten 143-23 was a space engagement in the Luyten 143-23 system between forces of the Terran Federation and those of Alien-Designate NN 3126, believed to be the automated remnants of a biological species that has since disappeared. Regarded by some sources as two separate battles, the twenty-seven day period in which the system was contested began on January 6, 2102 and concluded nearly a month later with the Terran Federation's destruction of all detected A-D NN 3126 vessels. Although the battle was an entirely one-sided affair in which Terran ships incurred no casualties and suffered no damage, it prompted a Fleet doctrine and design review which led to the redesign of several planned ship classes, the cancellation of plans for a class of four light cruisers, and new statuatory capability requirements for the Terran fleet.

Background: First mapped in 2077 after exploration of a jump point in the Alpha Centauri system, Terran Fleet Command deemed Luyten 143-23 a low priority for immediate survey missions given the relative unimportance of other worlds along the Proxima jump-branch at the time and given the presence of only three system bodies; it was not until late 2101 that Luyten 143-23 was among systems selected for comprehensive survey. Given the scarcity of military assests along the jump-branch, the Bertalan Farkas-class survey cruiser Pham Tuan (ExCS-002)---armed with a 15cm quad far UV laser turret, six anti-craft missile tubes, two CIWS, and modest shielding---was deployed from 70 Ophiuchi-A III. (The older Yuri Gagarin-class exploration vessels, equipping only CIWS and minimal sensors, were prioritized to systems where battle group support was more readily availible or where only gravitational survey was required.)

Initial Phase, Action of 6-10 January 2102: On 4 January 2102 Pham Tuan entered the Luyten 143-23 system via flash-jump ("squadron" transit) from Alpha Centauri and set course for the third, outermost planet closest to the jump point. Within two days, thermal sensors detected two Clairvauxs, a previously encountered class of primary sensor ships for the aliens first encountered and engaged in several battles at NN 3126, in apparent orbit of A II. Capt. Vaughn Harville, commanding Pham Tuan, continued with the primary, geological survey mission after reducing speed by a third to reduce the possibility of detection.

On the 7th, Pham Tuan detected two additional 7,700 ton contacts, alien active sensors were detected, and the two new contacts determined to be on intercept course with Pham Tuan, which powered its shields and own active sensors (revealing two additional contacts at A II), resumed full engine power to 6000 km/s, diverted mission to gravitational survey of the system, and apprised Fleet Command of the situation via ansible.

By the 10th, Pham Tuan had disengaged propulsion fields to conduct the first of its gravitational surveys and began lauching missile salvos when the approaching 7700 ton Ranseur and Bernard entered range, destroying both. Continued survey operations were conducted under apparent observation of the two Clairvauxs, which maintained a distance of better than 320 million km, far exceding the range of Pham Tuan's ACMs. Intelligence obtained at NN 3126 precluded the possibility of closing with this enemy class at a velocities below 12,666 km/s. Under cover of a freak ion storm that temporarily inhibited active sensors, Pham Tuan escaped the shadowing of the Clairvauxs and continued with its gravitational survey mission uninterrupted.

Meanwhile, Fleet Command had ordered it's four reserve destroyers of the China and United States classes to rendevous and replenish ordnance at Earth in preparation for expedition against enemy forces at Luyten 143-23. As the sole remaining warships capable of equipping long-range ASMs, the Chinas' magazines were loaded with them exclusively, relying on the United States-class vessels for anti-missile missile (AMM) capability. Fleet Command had considered deployment of Battle Group B, but the force's two frigates had yet to complete refitting to Mod.A specifications, so only the Sun Tzu-class dreadnought, Xiang Yu (DN-002)---including its combat wing of twelve strikecraft and five interceptors---was detached from Battle Group B  to supplement and act as flagship for the Reserve Destroyer Squadron. On 17 January 2102 the force, joined by the jump-tender Birsa Munda, embarked for Luyten 143-23 under the overall command of Rear Adm. Elijah Excell, commander of the 2nd Expeditionary Fleet.

Action of 1-3 February 2102: On 1st February the Reserve Destroyer Squadron arrived at Luyten 143-23 and set course for A III, immediately making contact with the Clairvaux pair, which began retreat towards the inner system. Early on the morning of the 2nd, Xiang Yu made contact with two additional contacts of classes Covenant and Crossbow (suspected missile combatants based on the earlier battles of NN 3126) in apparent orbit of A II. Xiang Yu launched its strikecraft squadron of twelve C/A-5 Aesculapians in pursuit of the Clairvauxs, but the strike squadron was ordered to break off when the new contacts at A II were determined to be the apparent destination. After closing to 85 million km, China (D-001) and India (D-002) launched 24 ASMs at the Covenant. The first salvos failing to destroy the target, the destroyers conducted a second attack, which suceeded. The Crossbow was subsequently destroyed, the strike squadron recalled to Xiang Yu for refueling, and Pham Tuan resumed its geological survey mission. On 3rd February sorties by the strike squadron destroyed the Clairvauxs, concluding the battle.

Aftermath: The Reserve Destroyer Squadron remained on station for several months after the battle, as Pham Tuan finished its geological survey mission and resumed mapping for jump points. Geological survey revealed a ruined settlement on mineral-rich Luyten 143-23-A II with an anomaly that could aid energy research, but the heavy gravity precluded its prioritization as a center for scientific research. Salvager Group A, dispatched from Earth at the conclusion of the battle, conducted salvage operations.

Rear Adm. Elijah Excell, Fleet Cpt. Missy Stych, Fleet Cpt. Ralph Zozaya, and Cpt. Vaughn Harville were awarded Fleet Stars and several C/A-5 commanders were awarded Exemplary Service Crosses for their actions.

Analysis: The success of small attack craft armed with short-ranged anti-ship missiles in the war with the House of Monkey, and subsequent engagements with large formations of small craft of the techno-organic aliens first encountered at Proxima, led Fleet planners to omit long range ASMs of greater than 100 million km range in subsequent warship designs: long range strike capability would be served by small attack craft operating from carriers and dreadnoughts, while small craft defense and secondary anti-ship capability would be conducted with the anti-craft missile (ACM) system that synchronized with the maximum range of high-sensitivity anti-missile/craft sensors. The ongoing refit of Battle Group B's frigates---and according to some analysts, Fleet Command's desire to expend older ordnance stockpiles---led to deployment of the Reserve Destroyer Squadron, which included both China-class destroyers capable of anti-ship attack at greater than 100 million km range. Given the option, rather than risk Xiang Yu's strike craft to the suspected AMM capabilites of enemy combatants, force commander Excell opted to attack with the Chinas, which met their objectives despite their outdated missiles and despite obsolete targeting systems that necessitated a reduced engagement range of ~85 million km. The battle of Luyten 143-23 thus validated the continued utility of long-range anti-ship missiles for some engagment scenarios, a concept which had been in disfavor at Federation Fleet Command.

Critics of survey cruiser design and operations doctrine pointed to Pham Tuan's performance against its two aggressors as inadequate, a failure of the secondary role of ACMs as short ranged anti-ship missiles for use against targets exceeding a thouand tons, primarily because the vessel expended nearly half of its ACM ordnance to counter the threats. Defenders maintained that Pham Tuan's remaining unscathed and continuing it's survey operations while under threat validated both design and doctrine. Other observers accepted the limitations of the survey cruiser concept---and the Bertalan Farkas design in particular---as unavoidable, but warned of its extreme vulnerability to the massive missile salvos that could be encountered when alien AMMs are used in the anti-ship role as at NN 3126; they credited Capt. Harville's caution in diverting from the initial geo-survey mission for averting a potential disaster, as either/both the Covenant or Crossbow had demonstrated offensively-employed AMM capability at NN 3126.

The C/A-5 Aesculapian's ability to achieve launch range while remaining untargetable went untested. Although the then-controversial design decision to reduce each craft's attack capability to two launchers from the preceding C/A-1 Adder's three  proved no detriment (the reduction allowed vastly improved targeting and ECM capability at only a net five ton increase in mass), their performance failed to silence advocates of a three-launcher system of smaller ASM-SRs or those calling for greater standardization with the use of up to four launchers serving the lower-yield ACMs.

A Fleet Review Board concluded that Fleet should retain long-range ASM capability (realized in the Han Xin-class dreadnought and Dyeus-class large destroyer), that study of employment of box launchers to replace the survey cruisers' present ACM system be conducted (no resultant change in doctrine), and that the Light Cruiser Project should be reassessed, potentially with a redesign featuring AMM capability for escort of the Dimutri Prunarin-class survey cruisers then under construction (proposed for the Jericho-class cruiser). Several officials responsible for the decison to tool for the Light Cruiser Project were investigated for corruption, but many observers considered them scapegoats to distract from broader, institutional mistakes by Fleet Administration.
« Last Edit: November 25, 2017, 01:05:01 PM by obsidian_green »
 
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Offline obsidian_green

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Excerpt from the Encyclopedia Obsidiana.

Battle of HR 4523

Series of actions from 29 June through 1 August 2102 between forces of the Terran Federation and Alien-Designate Proxima Centauri #141, commonly referred to as the Prox, in the HR 4523 system, resulting in the apparent destruction of all Prox units and Terran control of the system. Three Terran ships were destroyed in the battle.

Background: In early 2102, Terran forces had defeated units of Alien-Designate NN 3126 in the Battle of Luyten 143-23 after their presence was detected in the course of survey cruiser Pham Tuan's (ExCS-002) exploration of the system. Remaining on station in the system for several months after the battle, the Reserve Destroyer Squadron was recalled to Earth, while the dreadnought Xiang Yu (DN-002), flagship of the squadron, was ordered to rendezvous with the recently refitted combatants of Battle Group B at 70 Opiuichi-A III.  After completion of its survey, Pham Tuan transited to the HR 4523 system on 20 June 2102 to begin geological survey operations there.

Action of 29 June 2102: Subsequent to orbital survey of Asteroid #24, Pham Tuan detected a formation of fifty Prox Sincheonji units on intercept course and began retreat towards the Luyten 143-23 jump-point, alerting Terran Fleet Command of the situation via ansible. The survey cruiser expended all remaining ACMs (48 percent had been expended in the Battle of Luyten 143-23), destroying twenty-six attackers and damaging three others, before being overtaken and disabled by apparent meson weaponry. Cpt. Vaughn Harville gave order to abandon ship and 235 crew and their captain escaped to lifepods as automated systems scuttled the Pham Tuan.

Response: Upon Pham Tuan's initial contact with the Prox formation, Terran Fleet Command immediately issued orders for armed expedition to HR 4523. Battle Group B--- consisting of Xiang Yu, carrier Australia (CV-004), destroyers Nigeria (D-007) and Bangladesh (D-008), frigates Gaxia (F-007) and Zama (F-008), and their craft complements, which included 36 Aesculapian strikecraft and 17 Fer-de-lance interceptors---would embark from the naval base at 70 Opiuichi-A III under the command of Rear Adm. Elijah Excell, commander of the 2nd Expeditionary Fleet and victor of the recent battle at Luyten 143-23. Despite immediate orders from Fleet Command, there was nevertheless a delay of several days before Battle Group B got underway.1 The battle group arrived at the HR 4523 system on the 18th of July, but not in time to recover the survivors of the Pham Tuan, who perished several hours before the battle group's arrival. The rescue mission unsuccessful, Battle Group B took no action for seven days before enemy contacts were detected on the 24th.2

Action of 24 July 2102: Twenty-four Sincheonjis detected by active sensors on Xiang Yu, Battle Group B finally undertook operations, setting course for HR 4523-A I. Xiang Yu, Nigeria, and Bangladesh launched ACMs against the Prox, destroying 21 units and disabling 3 others that Xiang Yu's interceptors closed with and destroyed.

Action of 29 July 2102: Xiang Yu detected five Sincheonjis previously disabled in combat with Pham Tuan and carrier interceptors were launched to destroy them. Fer-de-lance 027 accounts for two kills, but took damage from a Sincheonji with intact weapons.

Action of 30 July 2102: Xiang Yu detected ten new contacts of previously unencountered classes---nine Yangyangs and one Iri--- and Battle Group B set intercept course via in-system jump. Post-jump, all strikecraft sortied against the Iri, which had diverged from the apparently immobile Yangyangs. The Iri survived intercept by 72 ASM-SR3 anti-ship missiles, indicating the same massive shielding encountered on other Prox units of similar mass, and apparently deployed twenty Sincheonjis, mothership capability also demonstrated by the previous class. ACM attack by Nigeria and Bangladesh destroyed the new formation and Battle Group B's frigates were detached to intercept and destroy the damaged Iri, whose shields had partially regenerated in the interim. Under continuous laser fire and with the aid of ACM salvos from the battle group, the Iri's shields were finally degraded, but it managed to damage Gaxia in a counteract not indicated by the demonstrated speed or weapons' range of the Iri. Ordered to return to formation with the other ships of Battle Group B, the Iri was able to intercept and quickly disable Gaxia. In apparent violation of orders, its sister ship Zama attempted to destroy the Iri by closing to a range in which it's pair of Gauss cannon turrets could also engage, and while it succeeded in again degrading the Iri's shields, it failed to damage it sufficiently to prevent the destruction of Gaxia or itself. Sorties by Australia's strikecraft wing subsequently destroyed the Iri, Battle Group B closed to laser range and destroyed the Yanyangs, and rescue shuttles recovered survivors from the destroyed frigates.

On 1 August 2102 Battle Group B assumed station at HR 4523-A III to await and supervise salvage operations.

Aftermath: Fleet Stars awarded to Fleet Cpts. Marquis Shiffer and Thomas Luetkemeyer, Cpts. Andreas Drollinger and Alonzo Poyner. Distinguished Service Crosses awarded to Cpt. Luanne Tadlock and Cmdrs. Marsha Rondon, Garfield Gillim, Bobbie Lazarski, and Deva Bhinge. Posthumous commendations bestowed on Fleet Cpts. Daniel Defreese and Kailasa Panda, Cpt. Vaughn Harville. Notably, Rear Adm. Elijah Excell received no commendation.

Much controversy surrounds the actions of Rear Adm. Excell. Although a Terran Federation Fleet review board cleared Excell of dereliction of duty, many scholars contend the conclusion was preordained so as not to diminish what was being characterized as the heroic sacrifices of the battle's casualties. Excell's multi-day delay before embarking for HR 45231 and the week-long delay after the jump to the system2 remain subjects of debate; while the former delay entertains wide speculation, the latter is popularly attributed to mental breakdown subsequent to the failed rescue of the Pham Tuan survivors. Upon completion of the deployment, Rear Adm. Elijah Excell was transferred to command of the Reserve Fleet.

Analysis: The Battle of HR 4523 challenged conclusions drawn by Fleet planners after the Battle of Luyten 143-23 and served as a significant test of battle group doctrine established in the wake of war with the "House of Monkey".

Despite it's destruction, Pham Tuan's performance vindicated survey cruiser doctrine that had been questioned after Luyten 143-23 and resurrected the original Light Cruiser design that prioritized ACM armament over AMM capability. Fleet review board concluded the likelihood of Pham Tuan's survival had its magazines been full, blaming operational overconfidence in deploying an unreplenished Pham Tuan to HR 4523 rather than failure of concept.

Battle group employment of strikefighters and ACMs met all expectations of supporters of the doctrine, while the utility of Julu-class frigates (and therefor the Aquae Sextae class as well) as anything more than close anti-missile escorts was brought into doubt.

Extra-dimensional notes: 1.) When the task group contains a 1 km/s flag bridge pod, I really ought to remember to set fleet speed to max after I dock it ... sorry CPT Harville. 2.) No joy when I don't get the "Battle Group B has completed orders" message after the group has completed its orders. Poor RADM Excell has to pay the narrative price, but the spice is nice ... even when the alliteration is forced.
« Last Edit: November 25, 2017, 12:56:16 PM by obsidian_green »
 
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Offline obsidian_green

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Excerpt from the Encyclopedia Obsidiana.

Yuri Gagarin Incident

Series of events beginning 17 May 2103 in which the Terran Federation survey ship Yuri Gagarin (SS-001) made first contact with the Council of Iwakuni and was subsequently destroyed. The incident precipitated the Earth-Iwakuni War.

On 17 May 2103 Yuri Gargarin transited an unexplored jump-point in the NN 3497 system, revealing an hyperspatial connection to the Gliese 258 system. Thermal sensors soon detected a signature consistent with a large population estimated in the billions, a likely homeworld for an as yet un-encountered species. Tentatively labeled Alien-Designate Gliese 258 #149 and later identified as the Coucil of Iwakuni, Yuri Gagarin established communications and proceeded with its primary gravitational survey mission. On 19th May Yuri Gagarin was damaged by missile attack and began retreat towards the Gliese 258/NN 3497 jump-point, only to be destroyed by a second missile barrage early on 20th May. Captain Jerry Arellano was killed in the action and contact with the survivors' escape pods was lost shortly thereafter.

In the wake of the  encounter, Terran Federation Fleet Command immediately dispatched Battle Group B to the NN 3497/Gliese 258 jump-point. The battle group's arrival on 26th May began the multi-year blockade that would be the most enduring feature of the war.
« Last Edit: December 19, 2017, 01:41:30 AM by obsidian_green »
 

Offline obsidian_green

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Excerpt from the Encyclopedia Obsidiana.

Battle of JP-NN 3497/Gliese 258

The Battle of JP-NN 3497/Gliese 258 was a major space engagement between forces of the Terran Federation and the Council of Iwakuni contesting the hyperspatial jump-point between the NN 3497 and Gliese 258 systems and was the first major battle of the Earth-Iwakuni War. Beginning on 13 February 2104, the three-day battle saw an Iwakuni assault force annihilated in an attempt to break the Terran blockade of the jump-point in NN3497, a Terran counter-assault across the jump-point to Gliese 258 that inflicted massive losses on Iwakuni forces maintaining their own defensive blockade, the pursuit of retreating Iwakuni ships, and an Iwakuni counterattack that inflicted losses sufficient to force Terran forces to withdraw from Gliese 258. Tactically indecisive as the Iwakuni failed to break the Terran blockade and the Terran counter-offensive was repulsed, scholarly consensus nevertheless regards the battle as a Terran victory given Iwakuni material losses, the maintenance of the Terran blockade, and the unopposed transit when Terran forces returned to Gliese 258 three years later.

Background: Subsequent to the Yuri Gagarin Incident that initiated hostilities, Terran Fleet Command ordered blockade of JP-NN 3497/Gliese 258 by rotation of its two active battle groups as construction and training of two, new state-of-the-art battle groups and their craft complements proceeded. On 26 May 2103, Battle Group B, commanded by Rear Adm. Scottie Rouleau (commander, 2nd Expeditionary Fleet) and centered around the dreadnought Xiang Yu (DN-002) and carrier Australia (CV-004), took up station eight days after survey ship Yuri Gagarin's (SS-001) destruction, and after deploying a scout through the jump-point, detected the presence of a large Iwakuni fleet in position to defend against transit. Three Iwakuni ships probed the jump-point in response, but were not fired upon. The Terran scout likewise transited back to the Terran side of the jump-point.

On 16 June, Battle Group A, commanded by Rear Adm. Geraldine Spriggle (commander, 1st Expeditionary Fleet) and consisting of Sun Tzu (DN-001), Asia (CV-003), Brazil (D-005), Pakistan (D-006), Julu (F-005), Cannae (F-006) and their craft complements, relieved Battle Group B of blockade duty. Spriggle, who had commanded the battle group responsible for the destruction of the House of Monkey fleet two decades earlier and who was then the sole recipient of the U.N. Star of Valor, was given wide operational discretion by Terran Fleet Command. When a 67,400 ton Iwakuni ship of class designated Moyote transited the jump-point on 23 August 2103, Spriggle ordered its destruction, thus forestalling any prospects of a negotiated peace. Salvager Group B arrived after several months to exploit the wreckage of the Moyote.

Action of 13 February 2104: A 2,700-ton Iwakuni ship of class designated Metcate was detected on approach vector. Adm. Spriggle detached destroyers Brazil and Pakistan to intercept. As the destroyers closed on the Metcate and after they had withdrawn from the range at which they might support the rest of the battle group, fifteen Iwakuni ships transited the jump-point: a lone 18,400 ton Guajolote; a lone 9,200 ton Molcajete; a pair of 27,600 ton Malacatos; and a primary formation of two 18,400 ton Olotutos, two 18,400 ton Coates, two 9,150 ton Chiquitos (later identified as Aran Fawddwy class), and five 9,200 ton ships of Chocoloto, Petaca, and Zenzontle classes. Sun Tzu and Asia launched their combat craft, the missile-armed strikecraft targeting the larger hostile contacts, as Sun Tzu also launched anti-craft missiles (ACMs) against remaining untargeted contacts that appeared to have used their own jump engines rather than the jump-gate, and the initial Terran missile attack damaged all targets. Vectors of several Iwakuni ships suggesting Salvager Group B as a target, the battle group rendezvoused with the salvagers to provide defensive cover, all vessels firing at the most proximate Iwakuni targets. After suffering extensive losses, remaining Iwakuni ships attempted to maintain distance beyond the range of interceptor railguns, only to quickly lose more ships to the longer range of Sun Tzu's, Julu's and Cannae's laser batteries, finally breaking off the attack entirely only to be pursued and destroyed. The entire engagement at the jump-point transpired in under the course a minute. The detached destroyers subsequently destroyed the Mecate, shuttles were launched to recover Iwakuni lifepods, and all elements of Battle Group A rendezvoused again at the jump-point.

Action of 14 February 2104: A Terran recon craft deployed through the jump-point to Gliese 258, although almost immediately destroyed, detected only five Iwakuni vessels defending against transit: three ships of class designated Papolete, a Tocale, and a Cacale. Recognizing an opportunity to secure unopposed transit for a future attack force by holding the Gliese 258 side of the jump-point, Rear Adm. Spriggle ordered flash-transit of the battle group to Gliese 258. Upon the battle group's entry, the Cacale and Tocale moved to intercept while the Papalotes retreated. After recovering from jump shock, destroyers launched ACM attacks against the Papalotes and the battle group closed with the two attackers, engaging the Cacle with laser batteries. The frigate, Cannae, suffered the complete loss of its shields and sustained superficial damage before massed laser fire destroyed the attacking Cacale, the Tocale destroyed by a combination of missile strikes and laser fire. Asia launched its interceptors in pursuit of the damaged Papalotes, which they destroyed. Search and rescue of Iwakuni survivors were conducted, the battle group maintained station at the jump-point, and a scout craft was dispatched towards the wreck of Yuri Gagarin.

Action of 15 February 2104: In the six-o'clock hour Battle Group A was unsuccessfully attacked by missiles from undetected platforms and the craft exploring the line to Yuri Gagarin was diverted to scout for the attackers. Two 18,400-ton ships of Zoqueto class were subsequently detected at the edge of Sun Tzu's 403.2 million km sensor range and craft of the dreadnought's strike squadron sortied against the targets. Other Iwakuni ships were quickly detected: a 27,600-ton ship designated Chante, three 9,200-ton ships designated Tecotecale, and a single unidentified contact of 9,200 tons. The battle group successfully defended against another two missile attacks within the hour and launched it's carrier strike wing against the three Tecotecales, the Chante, and the unknown. Short range ASMs from Sun Tzu's strike squadron damaged the Zoquetos and Sun Tzu deployed its five interceptors to the continue attack. In order to maintain sensor contacts in support of strikecraft operations, Battle Group A moved off jump-point station keeping. The Tecotecales were damaged by strikecraft ASM attack and Asia deployed its interceptor squadron to continue the attack. C/A-5A 007 was destroyed by the counterattacking Tecotecales' ASMs and the strikecraft flight expended the last of its ASMs against the active sensor source, Tecotecale 001, destroying it. By 13:13 interceptors had destroyed an additional two Zoquetos and two Tecotecales, at the cost of three C/F-6 Fer-de-lances.

At 15:45 Battle Group A sensors detected a highly dispersed barrage of 448 missiles in a single wave of 112 targetable groupings at a range of 475,000 km, exceeding total fleet anti-missile capacity. The battle group took evasive action and launched all powered craft as a precaution against the destruction of their motherships. Point-defense batteries engaged the incoming missiles to insufficient effect and both Sun Tzu and Asia were destroyed. Rear Adm. Fidel Delmonte, commanding the destroyers and frigates, ordered all remaining combat vessels to withdraw to NN 3497 via jump-gate, tasking SH/RS-3 Rasbora shuttles with the retrieval of survivors and the refueling of orphaned combat squadrons. During the course of these operations, two new contacts of class designated Acalte and another designated Azetale were detected, both powerful active sensor sources. By an hour past "midnight", on 16 February 2104, the withdrawl from Gliese 258 was completed, thus ending the battle.

Aftermath: Apprised of the loss of Sun Tzu and Asia via ansible, Fleet Command organized Antarctica (CV-002), China (D-002), India (D-002), United States (D-004) and Indonesia (D-004) as the Emergency Relief Group, which embarked from Earth to recover orphaned craft. Battle Group B, under 2nd Expeditionary Fleet commander, Rear Adm. Scottie Rouleau, embarked from NN 3380-A II to relieve the remnants of Battle Group A from blockade duty.

Battle Group A maintained the blockade of JP-NN 3497/Gliese 258, twice repelling Iwakuni tests of the jump-point on 20 and 24 February 2104, until relieved by Battle Group B later on the 24th.

For the action of 13-16 February, Fleet Stars were awarded to Rear Adm. Fidel Delmonte (Brazil), Fleet Capt. Maureen Douthitt (who survived destruction of Sun Tzu), Fleet Capt. Catherine Hokenson (Cannae), Fleet Capt. Russel Norfolk (Julu), and Fleet Capt. Ralph Zozaya (Pakistan); Exemplary Service Crosses to Capt. Ray Radigan, Capt. Freddie Lionberger, Capt. Periwo, Capt. April Lickliter, Cmdr. Alex Margosian, Cmdr. Kyle Hehn, Cmdr. Marty Big, Cmdr. Long Bookout, Cmdr. Perla Flannagan, Cmdr. Asmoro Herawati, Lt. Ravati Ahmed, Lt. Shi Tian Lin, Lt. Mondli Mhaule, and Lt. Shao Bao Hui; Auxiliary Service Medals to Lt. Kelley Mcclean, Lt. Hengameh Zirakzadeh, Lt. Bhikkhuni Poddar, and Lt. Wiji (senior officer, Salvager Group B); posthumous commendations to Fleet Capt. Rudolph Gaton (Asia) and Cmdr. Kanika Murugi. Rear Adm. Geraldine Spriggle declined her approved Fleet Star.

Battle Group A, reassigned to 2nd Expeditionary Fleet, continued blockade rotations, as Battle Group R after construction of new ships prompted Fleet reorganization in March 2105, with first Antarctica (CV-002), then Africa (CV-001), replacing Asia as carrier.

1st Expeditionary Fleet transferred its flag to Earth and assumed the planning for full-scale offensive in Gliese 258 space. Bound to administrative duties as she convalesced from injuries sustained in her evacuation from Sun Tzu, Rear Adm. Spriggle returned to operational duty in early December 21041, but retired from active service in early 2105 to allow her to consult with the Federation government, where she advocated, and helped secure funding, for the refitting of recent and current Fleet builds to improve missile defense and early warning capability before any attack on Gliese 258, delaying eventual operations by only four months. Spriggle later became an Academy director and continued consulting with Fleet planners until preparations for what would become the Battle of Gliese 258 were finalized in late March 2107. Spriggle later received the Federation Assembly's highest honor for her contributions to the war effort both in and out of service and she was regarded as one of the chief architects of later Federation successes against the Iwakuni by contemporary observers.

Analysis: The Battle of JP-NN 3497/Gliese 258 challenges definite tactical conclusions given its progression. As a successful maintenance of the Terran blockade, it can be characterized as a decisive Terran victory despite the loss of two of the Federation's most important warships; by contrast, the Iwakuni fleet lost twenty-seven combatants in excess of 9,000 tons, nearly half in excess of 18,000 tons, including several in the 27,000-ton range. That characterization, however, tends to minimize the Federation shift in objective to holding the Gliese 258 side of the jump-point, which the 1st Expeditionary Fleet's lone battle group was unable to accomplish. Characterized as a withdrawal to NN 3497 in Federation reports, the description of it as an organized retreat is equally valid, but at the time was a characterization espoused almost exclusively by critics of the war. As discovered records indicated, the Iwakuni certainly seized on the retreat of Federation forces to declare victory, but as the Federation learned when it returned to Gliese 258 in 2107, the Iwakuni effectively conceded control of the jump-point to the Federation by declining to again defend it, and combined with massive Iwakuni material losses, this explains the scholarly consensus that the battle was an unequivocal Federation strategic victory.

Federation Fleet review of the battle concluded that current sensor technology was inadequate to defend against small, missile-armed craft and suggested that anti-missile defenses might be inadequate even with improved detection. New doctrines advocated by Geraldine Spriggle, and eventually employed by Vice Adm. Ezequiel Maner, thus called for capability improvements to the ships that would comprise the two new battle groups slated for the Gliese 258 offensive and operational changes within the Federation Fleet, namely the combination of battle groups into multi-carrier and dreadnought task forces such as the three-battle group task force Maner commanded in 2107.

The review board recognized Spriggle's anticipation that Iwakuni capabilities might have exceeded those of her battle group and deferred criticism of her decision to move off the jump point after Iwakuni major combatants proved to be less dangerous than feared. The press, however, noted that had Spriggle remained at the jump-point as she had originally intended, Sun Tzu and Asia could have evaded the missile attack which destroyed them by jumping to NN 3497.

The SH/RS-3 Rasbora rescue shuttle proved so extremely versatile as an emergency craft tanker, that rather than completely replace it with the SH/RS-4 Ratfish and its doubled cryo-berth capacity, the Federation Fleet commissioned an improved model that traded top speed for an active sensor, allowing it to potentially support interceptor escort of strike squadrons.
« Last Edit: January 05, 2018, 02:53:16 PM by obsidian_green »
 
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I really like this history book style you're writing in!

Thanks. In reading some of the previous fiction, I noticed that whatever style authors employed seemed a bit hamstrung by game events, so that plot could not be developed as naturally for story as it would in something completely original. I decided to try to work with that constraint, rather than against it, and was surprised at some of the hidden, hinted, or suggested depth that emerged. Like the game itself, I think my excerpts allow us to use our own imagination when filling in the picture the entries prompt. They are also fairly easy to write (but maybe not quicker) because there's a systemic methodology to their creation, rather than the juggling act needed to make story elements like plot, characterization, setting, and theme come harmoniously together.

If time and gumption ever coincide, I'm tempted to write a traditional, and hopefully very short, story that links Elijah Excell's disgrace ("he" let the crew of a destroyed survey cruiser die when "I" forgot to reset the max TG speed after loading an engineless flag bridge pod, and "he" was blamed for twiddling his thumbs at a JP for seven days because the game decided to not give me a completed orders message) with his later command of a battle group during the Earth-Iwakuni War. I don't want to prioritize it over additional Obsidiana excerpts, and an actual story where I mind all the story elements might take more effort than I'm willing to attempt, so no promises there, but it's on my mind.
 

Offline obsidian_green

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Excerpt from the Encyclopedia Obsidiana.

Battle of Gliese 258

The Battle of Gliese 258, 29-30 April 2107, was a major space engagement between the Terran Federation and the Council of Iwakuni, part of the Earth-Iwakuni War. The Federation victory established their spatial dominance of the star system and allowed Federation ground forces unopposed insertion upon the Iwakuni homeworld at Gliese 258-A II.

Fought primarily along the line between JP-Gliese 258/NN 3497 and the Iwakuni homeworld, the battle saw the destruction of major portions of the Iwakuni fleet while the Terran Federation lost 108 C/A-5-series Aesculapians, nine squadrons that comprised the entirety of the attacking task force's strikecraft complement. The battle nevertheless constituted a decisive Federation victory, as all strategic objectives were achieved and all Iwakuni ships participating in the engagement were destroyed.

Background: Planning for the Federation offensive began in earnest in December 2104, after Fleet board review of the February 2104 Battle of JP-NN 3497/Gliese 258 concluded, and after Rear Adm. Geraldine Spriggle recovered from injuries sustained in the evacuation of the destroyed Sun Tzu, when she reassumed operational command of 1st Expeditionary Fleet. Spriggle recommended expansion of the new battle groups from six to seven ships---with improvements to jump-drive technology allowing the addition of a new, Dyeus-class large destroyer to each of the new battle groups---as well as modifications of the Europe-class carriers, Han Xin-class dreadnoughts, Russia-class destroyers, and Aquae Sextae-class frigates then under construction. In order to better advocate this building program in the civilian sphere, Spriggle retired from Federation Fleet service in early 2105.

Rear Adm. Ezequiel Maner assumed command of training the new ships in March 2105, was promoted to vice admiral 23 January 2107, and was appointed operational commander of the 1st Expeditionary Fleet on 30 March. Final outfitting of the warships was completed between 22 December 2106 and 10 April 2107, when the two new battle groups, A and B, immediately embarked from Earth for Lalande 21185-A II to take on additional support craft. On the same day Battle Group C embarked from NN 3380-A II with the mission of maintaining the blockade of JP-NN 3497/Gliese 258 until the arrival of the additional battle groups, and was accompanied by the carrier, Antarctica, as auxiliary hangar space for the potential recovery of craft in the event of capital ship losses.

Elements of 1st Expeditionary Fleet assembled at JP-NN 3497/Gliese 258 on 28 April 2107; comprised of Battle Group A, senior officer Rear Adm. Maureen Douthitt, consisting of Europe (CV-005), Han Xin (DN-003), Dyeus (DL-001), Russia (D-009), Japan (D-010), Alesia (F-011), Actium (F-012), two Lancer A gunboats each armed with a 20cm laser, thirty-six Aesculapian ASM-armed strike craft, ten railgun-armed Fer-de-lance interceptors, and additional support craft for a total of sixty-nine vessels; Battle Group B, senior officer Rear Adm. Marquis Shiffer, consisting of North America (CV-006), Brennus (DN-004), Amun-Ra (DL-002), Mexico (D-011), Phillipines (D-012), Kunyang (F-013), Ikh Bayan (F-014), two Lancer A gunboats, and a craft complement nearly identical to Battle Group A for a total of sixty-nine vessels; Battle Group C, senior officer Fleet Capt. Missy Stych, consisting of Australia (CV-004), Xiang Yu (DN-002), Nigeria (D-007), Bangladesh (D-008), Aquae Sextae (F-009), Vercellae (F-010), five additional Fer-de-lance interceptors in place of a gunboat pair, and a craft complement similar to Battle Groups A and B for a total of sixty-eight vessels; and Battle Group D, senior officer Rear Adm. Elijah Excell, consisting of a nearly empty Antarctica (CV-002), Brazil (D-005), Pakistan (D-006), Julu (F-005), Cannae (F-006), and three attached support craft.

On the morning of 28 April 2107, two C/R-8 scout craft deployed through JP-NN 3497/Gliese 258, redetecting the population at Gliese 258 II and finding the jump-point undefended. Battle Groups A, B, and C flash-trasited to the system and formed Task Force 1, which set course for the inner system, leaving Battle Group D as rearguard in NN 3497.

The Battle: At 00:55, 29 April, twenty-nine 1,000-ton contacts designated Uribe were detected at a range of 182.9 million km followed by one-hundred twelve 300-ton contacts designated Monasterio nearly an hour later at similar range. The task force successfully defended against a massive missile attack believed to have orginated from the Uribes and counterattacked with long-range anti-craft missiles (ACM-LRs) and the deployment of carrier interceptors.

At 02:34 the task force detected major enemy combatants, eighteen ships in excess of 9,000 tons: two 46,000-ton Acaltes, two 27,600-ton Petaes, six 18,400-ton Olotutos, three 18,400-ton Bravos, two 18,350-ton Azetales, a 9,200-ton Zenzontle, and two 9,150-ton Aran Fawddwys observed to be in retreat. Task Force 1 successfully defended against three additional waves of missle attack before interceptors completed the destruction of the entire Uribe formation by 05:00 and then pursued the Monasterio formation until contacts were lost two hours later. Task Force 1 came under renewed missile attack, successfully defending against three massive missile waves beginning in the 07:00 hour, while task force strikecraft sortied against Iwakuni major combatants and contact with the Monasterio formation was reestablished. Beginning at 08:51 Task Force 1 detected a highly dispersed barrage of 448 missiles and initiated evasive manuevers, brought all anti-missile missiles online, and successfully engaged all incoming missiles. In the 09:00 hour Australia's strikecraft wing destroyed the Acaltes, Federation dreadnoughts and large destroyers launched ACM-LRs against the Monasterios, and Australia launched its interceptors in anticipation of completing the destruction of damaged Monasterios.

In the 10:00 hour an attack against the Bravos and Olotutos of the main enemy formation by strikecraft from Europe and North America failed with the malfunction of all missiles and dreadnought strikecraft diverted to attack the Bravos, destroying one and leaving another severely damaged. Australia's interceptors engaged the Monasterios, destroying all craft in the formation. Around 12:00 Task Force 1 began ACM-LR attacks against the remaining Bravos and strikecraft destroyed three of the Olotutos. Task force lancers sortied against the damaged Bravo and Olotuto.

At 16:04 the Federation task force detected enemy vessels, later identified as orbital battle stations, at Gliese 258-A II: four of Breton class and three of Berriozabal class. Twenty-six minutes later, Federation lancers overtook and destroyed the damaged Olotuto, and the damaged Bravo shortly thereafter, before pursuing the remainder of the Iwakuni battle group. At 17:15 an Olotuto destroyed Han Xin's pair of lancers, which had closed within range of the Olotuto's Gauss cannons, but within minutes Brennus' lancers successfully destroyed the Olotuto and all other remnants of the main Iwakuni battle group. Subsidiary formations of two Petaes, two Azetales, and two Aran Fawddys continued their retreat in the direction of Gliese 258-A II, the destination of Task Force 1.

At 02:08, 30 April, Task Force 1 came under massive, intermitent ASM attacks that would persist until nearly 10:30. At 3:35 all strikecraft squadrons were launched against the suspected battle stations at Gliese 258-A II and the Iwakuni mobile formations that had retreated towards the planet. At 4:29 AMM attack destroyed all 108 strikecraft, despite the formation's attempt to evade. At 4:40 Task Force 1 set course for Asteroid #2 in an attempt to flank Iwakuni active sensor sources protected by the battle stations at Gliese 258-A II, but later resumed course for the Iwakuni homeworld. At 6:15 Task Force 1's dreadnoughts and large destroyers launched ACM-LR attacks against Bretons 1 and 2, destroying Breton 2 at 6:44. A subsequent ACM-LR barrage targeting the Berriozabal battle stations was intercepted at 8:17. By 8:42 Iwakuni ASM attacks against the Federation task force were augmented by AMM attacks that, although successfully defended against, prompted evasive manuevers that delayed the task force's approach. By 10:59 Task Force 1 had closed within anti-craft missile (ACM) range of its destroyers, which launched attacks that destroyed two Berriozabals and damaged a third. The task force began pursuit of the six remaining Iwakuni warships and continued ACM attacks against the five remaining battle stations, destroying them by 11:12. At 11:17 Battle Group C detached from the main task force to advance on Gliese 258-A II and launched ACMs against the Petaes and Azetales, destroying one of the latter. The Lancer pair from Brennus subsequently destroyed all remaining Iwakuni warships detected by 11:51, most having been damaged by previous missile attacks. Recovery operations were conducted and the task force then dispersed into its constituent battle groups with the intention of blockading the system's jump-points.

At 14:59 a formation of forty-three new 21,500-ton contacts designated Panuco were detected for six minutes before the contacts were lost and the separate battle groups diverted to redezvouz at Gliese 258-A III, where Task Force 1 reconstituted at 21:49. With the failure of the Iwakuni mystery fleet's reappearance and no pursuit ordered, this concluded the battle.

Aftermath: Vice Adm. Manual Tanzer declined the U.N. Medal of Valor. Fleet Stars were awarded to Rear Adms. Marquis Shiffer (Brennus), Maureen Douthitt (Han Xin), Catherine Hokenson (Dyeus); Fleet Capts. Missy Stych (Australia), Jerald Desanty (Xiang Yu), Norbert Echard (Amun-Ra), Mattie Dossantos (Nigeria), Laurie Hefty (Bangladesh), Jimmie Holen (Japan), Zeng Yong Qiao (Europe), Octavio Millican (Phillipines), Mulyo Rokimah (Mexico), Darnell Norgaard (Russia); and Capt. Jayson Klinger (Australia's VF-05 interceptor squadron). Exemplary Service Crosses were awarded to Capts. Andria Frizzell, Andreas Drollinger, Marsha Rondon, Gao Ni De; Cmdr. Tanner Vandoren; and Lt. Bongani Mhaule. Gliese 258 Memorial Medals were  awarded to survivors of the lost strikecraft squadrons.

Task Force 1 remained on station at Gliese 258-A III as transports conveyed the 1st and 2nd Expeditionary Divisions to Gliese 258-A II, disembarking them on 20 May 2107, where they immediately began a ground offensive. Battle Group C detached from the task force on 22 May to support the invasion, but the "May Offensive" concluded on 2 June after suffering unsustainable casualties.

Federation forces in orbit of Gliese 258-A II, eventually single battle groups as others rotated back to base, would repeatedly engage Iwakuni vessels emerging from the orbiting shipyards until Tanzer destroyed the shipyards on 6 October 2108, after Iwakuni ships attacked their own homeworld and annihalated over half of the Federation invasion force on the surface. Tanzer had been ordered to preserve the shipyards on the chance they could be converted to Federation use subsequent to pacification of the Iwakuni--- a directive maintained even after the destruction of the destroyer, Japan, on 6 June 2108---but was freed of that restriction in the wake of the catastrophic attack on Federation ground forces.

Analysis: The Battle of JP-NN 3497/Gliese 258 in 2104 was confirmed a decisive Federation victory when the elements of Task Force 1 transited the jump-point unopposed in 2107. The Iwakuni shift to a soft defense of Gliese 258 in response proved costly, as Federation technological improvements and force composition were found capable of defending against the Iwakuni offensive capabilities that had destroyed Asia and Sun Tzu in 2104.

Federation Fleet review found Vice Adm. Tanzer unculpable in the destruction of Task Force 1's strikecraft squadrons, citing fire control and ASM-SR range deficiencies as the primary contributors to the catastrophe, rather than faulty tactics or fleet doctrine. While Tanzer retained the ability to continue long-range missile engagement with the battle stations at the time he ordered the strikecraft attack, the review board recognized his desire to retain offensive flexability in the face of unknown threats; the wisdom of which was confirmed when a fleet of forty-three Iwakuni vessels was briefly detected as the battle concluded. The review board refined requirements for the next generation of strikecraft fire controls and ASM-SRs, mandating the range of the system extend beyond the apparent capability of previously encountered alien AMM systems.

Extra-Dimensional Note: This might be it for a while (or it might not). My dad died in January after many years of illness and I only finished this Encyclopedia Obsidiana excerpt because I had already started it in December and its incompletion was bothering me. My habits have been unsettled, so I haven't played Aurora much in the past several months; it was always good for multi-tasking given the turn-increment waiting sometimes involved, but I'm changed ... at least for the time being.

Maybe I start something like this again if I try #C Aurora and it hooks me (the notion of a New Encyclopedia Obsidiana is almost too amusing to let pass), but the chances I continue writing up pieces from this particular game/playthrough, even if I resume playing it, are diminished. I have notes subsequent to the Battle of Gliese 258, but I feel as if I've lost my train of thought---they were just notes---and I'm not sure that if I resume the playthrough I'll have the energy for continued note-taking.

Anyway, for those who found previous excerpts an entertaining diversion, I hope this (maybe) last satisfies too.
« Last Edit: March 26, 2018, 03:29:11 PM by obsidian_green »
 
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