Author Topic: The Eridani Excursion: Invasion!  (Read 863 times)

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Offline IanD

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The Eridani Excursion: Invasion!
« on: October 27, 2009, 01:30:57 PM »
[center:1aa093pc]Captains Cabin TFS Hipper, 13th January 2077 01:25:39 ST[/center:1aa093pc]

Captain Godfrey, scrolled down the list of ordnance supplies for the Battle Groups engaged in the Eridani operation, it was not pleasant reading, there was a total of 1121 Star Cat Mk IIs in all the Battle Groups. There were another 23 on Earth and 50 mk Is on Proxima Centauri II. There were no others! Hopefully with the Eridani fleet smashed there would be little need for any more. The intelligence from the survivors recovered by TFS Raeder was interesting, Epsilon Eridani had six jump points, with the eight in Proxima Centauri, it made a nexus which just could not be ignored. His cabin buzzer sounded, Captain Godfrey called out “come in.” His Executive Officer entered. “Captain, you said to let you know when the Scylla and Dido were going to finish off the two cripples in orbit of Eridani IV.” “We are in position?” he asked. The Exec answered, “Yes, we are now sitting 36m klicks from Eridani IV, Sylla and Dido have been detailed to shoot one salvo each at their targets” The Captain replied. “I‘ll be right out.”

Godfrey sat in his command chair monitoring the near space scan. “There they go again” said his EO as the contacts designated Uniorm.006,007, 008, 010 and 011 moved away from the planet. “What do you mean?” said the Captain. The EO replied. “Those contacts designated Uniform and Yankee come and go as though on a schedule, and they have somewhere to be.” At that point Sylla and Dido launched their six missiles each, which sped on their way to the planet. “Number One, let me see your analysis of those ship movements when you have time” “Aye aye sir” came the reply.
Just over an hour later six missile slammed into X-ray 012 and 014. X-ray 012dissolved into a shower of meteorites as the fragments plunged into the planets atmosphere. Dido launched another six missiles, and an hour later X-ray 014 joined its sister, as its parts lit up the night sky heading planetward. As though on cue 18 Uniform contacts appeared on the sensor, heading for the Epsilon Eridani IV.

[center:1aa093pc]14th January 2077. Senior Officers Conference, 36m klicks from Epsilon Eridani IV [/center:1aa093pc]

Captain Godfrey was winding up “So gentlemen that is the situation. The Eridanians may well have a colony else where in the system, or even extra solar, they knew the location of all six jump points after all. The plan is simple, the troop transports Wellington and Napoleon will be in system in two days time with the 1st and 2nd Heavy Assault Divisions, 16th Assault Infantry Division and the 28th Headquarters Division. In company with Battle Group Sol it will proceed to the vicinity of Epsilon Eridani V and search for signs of a hostile colony. If they find one then it will be removed from the equation. As a further point, I can now tell you that we can now officially communicate with our foes, as though we had not been doing that effectively for the past few days!” There was a smattering of laughter over the tight beam coms.

[center:1aa093pc]Epsilon Eridani V[/center:1aa093pc]

As Battle Group Sol approached Epsilon Eridani V at 14:34:36 ST, an Epsilon Eridani, population was detected! It had an EM Signature 5991, so was not the small listening post that had been expected. They were located on the second moon of Epsilon Eridani V. Only Uniforms and Yankees were in local space and no threat. On the 19th January 2077 03:54:36 ST, the 1st and 2nd Heavy Assault Divisions, 16th Assault Infantry Division and the 28th Headquarters Division were delivered to Epsilon Eridani-A V - Moon 2. Once unloaded and in position the attack went in. The next day at 04:14:36 ST the colony capitulated; there were no defending troops or PDCs. The Terran Federation had captured a deep space tracking station, a mass driver and a population of 41 million! Suitable reparations to the value of 1450.7155 were appropriated.

Now the Terran’s had a base in system they began to shuttle troops from Proxima Centauri II to Epsilon Eridani V – Moon 2. It was not long before the assault elements of the Federation ground forces were in system. Battle Group Sol returned to Epsilon Eridani IV.

[center:1aa093pc]Epsilon Eridani IV 36m klicks out[/center:1aa093pc]

The decision had been taken the Terran Battle Groups would capture Epsilon Eridani IV orbital space. On the 1st February 2077 at 20:00:00 ST the ships began to close the planet. As the Battle Groups approached the planet the thermal sensors lit up with 55 small thermal contacts of unknown origin. Nothing much changed until the force passed the 20m-klick limit. Then at 23:13:21 165 strength 5 thermal contacts were picked up closing at 10,000 k/s. The Tsunami of missiles broke over the combined Battle groups, most heading for the TFS Scylla, her shields buckled under the onslaught, her armour scarred and burning through in many places, a shield generator exploded killing its crew, her engine spaces were particularly hard hit, two of her eight ion engines were destroyed along with an engineering space, another ion engine was damaged. But Scylla’s luck still held, her forward magazine was hit but safely jettisoned its ordinance. Forty-six 3-kiloton warheads had exploded on and around the Scylla, she had lost 41 of her crew but she was still intact – just. The TFS Rodney was also targeted, but only four missiles burst against her shields, doing no lasting damage. The captain of the Scylla now had a hard choice, try and keep up with the Battle Groups or try and escape the sensor range of the hostiles. Keeping up with the Battle Groups was a non starter, Scylla was down to 1260 k/s, the Battle Groups still had to close the enemy to achieve lock on and had a velocity of 3360 k/s. On the other hand, if Scylla could make 3m klicks she would be out of range and safe, it seemed the only choice.  The Battle Groups charged onwards, leaving Scylla to her fate. Then at 23:21:51 ST a fresh wave of missiles was detected boring in on the fleet, another 165 missiles were approaching. The escorts once more tried to protect the fleet, Seventeen missiles died under the coruscating laser fire but it wasn’t enough, 148 continued to bore in. Seconds later the missiles flashed past the fleet, heading for the Scylla. The crews of the ships with the battle Groups heaved a sigh of relief, tinged with guilt over what was going to happen to the Scylla. Finally the fleet had its reward for the impending sacrifice of the Scylla, they achieved a firing solution for first five of the new class of hostile warships, designated Bravo class.  Andromeda, Naiad, Argonaut, Ariadneand Argonaut started to launch Star Cats at those who had caused them so much grief.

On the Scylla, the bridge crew had heard the tight beam communication that sealed their fate; they still had half a million klicks to go, with 148 missiles bearing down on them. At 23:25:46 ST the Guardian anti-ship missiles made their final approach on the lone frigate. The first few missiles smashed flat her thin shields, another ion engine was the next to go, followed by a hit that penetrated the bridge, flash frying the unfortunate occupants. Then in quick succession there were two hits on the magazine spaces, which still did not detonate, but the damage was too great, her back broken Scylla broke up, those crew that could reach them launching life pods in the last few seconds, hoping the anti-radiation pills did what they said on the tin. Scylla had taken a total of 79 3-kiloton weapons to destroy her, her 134 survivors rested in the knowledge that had they not separated from the fleet the 113 missiles not required to ensure Scylla’s destruction may well have found other targets.

At 23:28:31 ST the fleet had the first taste of revenge as the Star Cats slammed into their targets, immediately causing them the vent atmosphere and most to stop dead. At 23:28:41 ST the other 50 contacts were resolved at a range of about 3m klicks. The combined fleet began launching missiles for all they were worth. The speeding Star Cats hit the main body of the enemy fleet at 23:31:51, ST, three hits were enough to disable a Bravo and six was a kill, But it was not all one sided, the Bravos had a velocity of 4000 k/s and were small, fast, elusive targets. If they could get beyond the Battle Groups myopic sensor envelope, the Star Cats would lose lock on, and there were anything but endless supplies of missiles. There were still ragged salvos of Guardian AS missiles arriving in penny packets targeted on the Federation fleet. By 23:34:36 ST Battle Group Proxima Centauri reached laser range of the cripples and began to put them out of their misery. There was no concerted strike on the combined fleet until 23:34:51 ST when 63 Guardians were detected inbound. But now however the escorts were more or less on top of the situation and only 14 missiles splashed against Rodney’s shields and armour. This assault was repeated at regular intervals with Rodney’s shields and armour saving her from serious damage. This continued until 23:38:46 ST when attention switched to the Cunningham, which suffered slight shield damage as a result. By this time about two thirds of the Bravos had been destroyed or incapacitated. The last serious missile strike was at 23:39:26 ST when another 10 missiles escaped interception to immolate themselves against Rodney’s shields and armour and Cunningham had one missile impact her shields.

At 23:42:01 Battle Group Proxima Centauri was tasked with taking out any damaged Bravos with laser fire as missile stocks were running perilously low, Battle group Sol was retiring having expended all supplies while Battle Group Tau Ceti was down to about 60%.  But gradually the defenders were worn away, all but one succumbing by 23:50:01 ST. This last one darted in and out of sensor range, but as it attempted to rearm from planetary stocks, three Star Cats met it with nuclear annihilation, penetrating it’s thin plating, leaving a derelict in their wake. So ended the fourth battle for Epsilon Eridani, The Federation has control of Epsilon Eridani IV’s orbital space. Battle Group Proxima Centauri started to recover survivors, while Battle Group Sol made for the wreck of the Scylla.

[center:1aa093pc]Epsilon Eridani: The Investiture. [/center:1aa093pc]

7th February 2077 10:28:16 TFS Andromeda launched the first of eighteen nuclear tipped Star Cats against Eridani troop concentrations on the planet. This was followed by the assault landing of 26th Headquarters, 1st Heavy Assault, 2nd Heavy Assault, and 3rd Heavy Assault Divisions to establish a bridgehead. Over the next few days the troop transports Wellington and Napoleon transferred the bulk of Federation ground forces from Epsilon Eridani V – Moon 2 to the surface of Epsilon Eridani IV. The ground assault proper commenced at 03:00:00 on the 8th February, with a combat ratio of 1.35.  

The first major action took place as the invaders moved out of the wilderness area used as a beachhead. There was a concerted effort on the 29th February to throw them off planet, the 19th Assault Infantry suffered particularly heavily with 39% casualties, the 7th Mobile Infantry suffered 7% casualties and the 4th Heavy Assault suffered 3% casualties but increased its morale, and the enemy divisions were repulsed, with the combat ratio increasing to 1.6 for the Federation. The Eridanians attempted to ambush the 11th Mobile Infantry on the 8th March but failed against the advanced Federation Battle Suits, although there was 50% casualties it was rapidly made up from the 30th Replacement Division and the 11th Mobile Infantry increased its morale by 8.

There was little progress until the 14th March when a spoiling attack by the Federation once more pushed the odds in their favour. There was a minor reverse on the 19th March when the 18th Assault Infantry suffered 35% casualties and the 8th Mobile Infantry suffered 2% casualties. But this was something of a pyrrhic victory as the combat ratio continued to swing in the Federations favour. Then on the 2nd April the 2nd Heavy Assault trapped two Eridanian Divisions and totally destroyed them. In an effort to capitalise on this the 3rd and 5th Heavy Assault Divisions were thrown into the fray suffering 15% casualties between them for modest progress. By the 15th April the combat ratio was above 3 for the Federation, it was now only a question of time. The smallest continent on Epsilon Eridani IV was secured with the destruction of two Eridani Divisions on the 23rd and 29th April. But also on the 29th there was drama high above as a ship tried to slip out of the Eridani orbital shipyards past the close orbit blockade. It was a new class, the Whiskey class, but it was immediately detected and engaged by Penelope and Naiad which launched 24 Star Cats at it. Overkill! The first impacts had the Whiskey leaking atmosphere and by the time a dozen had detonated around it, it was nothing but a radioactive ruin. However there were only about 350 Star Cats left in Federation Space.

On the 5th May the final push on the principal industrial centres and the seat of government commenced. There was an immediate breakthrough as three Eridanian Divisions crumpled beneath the onslaught. Again on the 17th April another three Eridanian Divisions were encircled and annihilated by Federation Heavy Assault Divisions. The road to the capital lay open! Only four Divisions remained to defy the alien invader. Finally on the 27th May at the gates of the capital the Eridanians made their last valiant stand and the last four divisions, all much under strength were obliterated. This ended organised resistance to the Federation; the Eridani Government surrendered unconditionally that day.

The limited nuclear strike at the start of the ground war had adversely affected the climate, cooling it by 0.36 degrees because of the lofted dust and a radiation effect that inhibited industry by -0.54% and growth by -0.13%. The Federation gained 3 deep space tracking stations, a Naval academy, 60 maintenance facilities, 267 construction factories, 149 ordnance factories, 62 fighter factories, 125 fuel refineries, 425 mines, 58 automatic mines, 1 mass driver, 6 R&D laboratories, 3 ground force training facilities, 2 commercial shipyards and 2 Naval shipyards along with substantial reparations, 2961 Ashod ASMs, 2748 Guardian ASMs, 23811 Duldrin AMMs and a population of 608 million. Thus ended the Epsilon Eridani Campaign, “completed with what whatever was at hand” to echo Admiral Naylor’s sentiments.

[center:1aa093pc]Epsilon Eridani: Epilogue 3rd July 2077 Unexplored Jump Point #2[/center:1aa093pc]

Twenty seven freighters, fifteen colony ships and eleven geosurvey ships had surrendered on the fall of Epsilon Eridani IV, but no deep space survey ships or jump ships. The High Command had decided it was essential that any rogue ships be apprehended. Thus the six unexplored jump points out of Epsilon Eridani were to be probed and a battle group sent to investigate any colony cost 2 or less planet and moon. This explained why Captain Godfrey sat once more in his command chair and watched the sensors as the Jump Cruiser Fort George opened a jump point for the Battle Group Proxima Centauri to transit. Theirs was the honour of probing the first jump point to be explored out of Epsilon Eridani. There was the inside out feeling as Geoffrey’s command ship the TFS Hipper made transit. A few minutes later as sensors stabilised Navigation came on line to say the system was identified as that of Epsilon Indi and that the third planet out looks a good candidate for an Earth-like planet. The Battle Group set course to investigate this likely candidate. As the ships proceeded, the science stations reported back that at a range of 5 billion klicks this planet looked like a cost 0 colony, perfectly Earth-like. Navigation broke in to point out ominously that there was what appeared to be an abandoned jump gate around a second jump point in the system.

As the distance closed to 1.5 billion klicks, Sensor Chief Ki Sun Dao stiffened with a sudden intake of breath. Captain Godfrey looked at his monitor readouts. The target planet lit up in the EM spectra like a beacon, an EM signature of 96957! Godfrey experienced a sinking sensation in the pit of his stomach and groaned inwardly. It was all happening again! And to him! Battle Group Proxima Centauri slunk quietly out of the system.

[center:1aa093pc]THE END[/center:1aa093pc]
« Last Edit: October 28, 2009, 12:00:12 PM by IanD »
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Offline Steve Walmsley

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Re: The Eridani Excursion: Invasion!
« Reply #1 on: October 27, 2009, 03:12:31 PM »
Quote from: "IanD"
As the distance closed to 1.5 billion klicks, Sensor Chief Ki Sun Dao stiffened with a sudden intake of breath. Captain Godfrey looked at his monitor readouts. The target planet lit up in the EM spectra like a beacon, an EM signature of 96957! Godfrey experienced a sinking sensation in the pit of his stomach and groaned inwardly. It was all happening again! And to him! Battle Group Proxima Centauri slunk quietly out of the system.
My wife just came into my office to find out why I burst out laughing after reading the above :).

I am looking forward to seeing how this turns out. It's also interesting to note your focus on the missile supply problems. It demonstrates that while missiles may be powerful in a one-off tactical situation, it is a very different ball game in a longer-term campaign when your supplies of ordnance can get used up very quickly.

Steve
 

Offline Beersatron

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Re: The Eridani Excursion: Invasion!
« Reply #2 on: October 27, 2009, 03:33:01 PM »
I was surprised that you only detected the missiles on thermals until the last minute, or did I get the wrong impression? Was your resolution on the AM sensors 0?

Do you know if the NPR was using FAC/Fighters? You mentioned 50 contacts when closing with the planet, did you destroy all 50 with missiles?

This is a good read, hope you keep it up!
 

Offline IanD

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Re: The Eridani Excursion: Invasion!
« Reply #3 on: October 27, 2009, 07:59:56 PM »
Quote from: "Steve Walmsley"
I am looking forward to seeing how this turns out. It's also interesting to note your focus on the missile supply problems. It demonstrates that while missiles may be powerful in a one-off tactical situation, it is a very different ball game in a longer-term campaign when your supplies of ordnance can get used up very quickly.

Yes I thought a couple of thousand was more than enough when this little war kicked off. I was kicking myself for scrapping over a thousand Mk Is :( after I developed an improved version. It also takes a while to build missile stocks, or anything else for that matter. Apart from manufacturing about 800 size 3 missiles the Federation had only what they started with. It was all over long before any new construction or even troops were available I confess I was not going to take this any further, since this is 4.26 complete with the box launcher  and thermal homing problems.

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Offline IanD

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Re: The Eridani Excursion: Invasion!
« Reply #4 on: October 27, 2009, 08:28:29 PM »
Quote from: "Beersatron"
I was surprised that you only detected the missiles on thermals until the last minute, or did I get the wrong impression? Was your resolution on the AM sensors 0?

I detected the missiles about 10-15 seconds out on thermals and only the impulse before they hit could they be targeted. The code for my point defence sensor is below, they were size 2, resolution zero mode. I also had a problem with my missiles which had lost targets giving a 424 error which needed cancelling hundreds of times and if you cancelled it once too many times, time rolled over to the next impulse, which appeared to adversely affect missile interception.

Code: [Select]
Active Sensor Strength: 42
Primary Mode:   Resolution: 1    Maximum Range: 1,260,000 km

Quote from: "Beersatron"
Do you know if the NPR was using FAC/Fighters? You mentioned 50 contacts when closing with the planet, did you destroy all 50 with missiles?

The NPR was using FACs, I got intelligence from rescued survivors and the specs are below. My main problem was my search sensor was able to detect 7500 tonne ships at 126m kilometres and I had forgotten about 1000 tonne FACs because I wasn't using them due to the box launcher error. When I initially picked them up on thermals I thought they were some type of small ground base :roll: All received some missile hit to slow them down, while they only had nuclear pulse engines to my ion engines they were still faster than my escorts. Often one missile hit was all that was required to destroy their engine so the escorts could catch up and their lasers make short work of them.

Regards

Code: [Select]
Eilat class Fast Attack Craft    1000 tons     132 Crew     110 BP      TCS 20  TH 80  EM 0
4000 km/s     Armour 1-8     Shields 0-0     Sensors 1/1/0/0     Damage Control Rating 0     PPV 9
Annual Failure Rate: 200%    IFR: 2.8%    Maintenance Capacity 0 MSP    Max Repair 20 MSP
Magazine 9    

GB Nuclear Pulse Engine E90 (1)    Power 80    Efficiency 9.00    Signature 80    Armour 0    Exp 15%
Fuel Capacity 100,000 Litres    Range 20.0 billion km   (57 days at full power)

Size 3 Missile Launcher (3)    Missile Size 3    Rate of Fire 90
Missile Fire Control FC10-R74 (1)     Range 22.2m km    Resolution 74
Guardian Anti-ship Missile (3)  Speed: 13,500 km/s   End: 32.9m    Range: 26.6m km   WH: 3    Size: 3    TH: 45 / 27 / 13

Active Search Sensor S10-R74 (1)     GPS 740     Range 7.4m km    Resolution 74

Missile to hit chances are vs targets moving at 3000 km/s, 5000 km/s and 10,000 km/s

This design is classed as a military vessel for maintenance purposes
IanD
 

 

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