Author Topic: After Action Report: Battle of Earthward Bound  (Read 2007 times)

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Offline Theodidactus

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After Action Report: Battle of Earthward Bound
« on: March 27, 2014, 07:51:08 PM »
I told myself I'd only do fiction and not after action reports and I've done a good job of that, but I've never really had a full scale battle of this magnitude. I have absolutely no idea how to capture it as a story. What you are seeing here is the largest battle, by far, that the concordance of worlds has ever participated in, involving two separate fleets, rescue craft, and about three real-life days of coordination. Because time-critical events, sometimes down to the minute took place on both sides of the jump gate, significant portions of the battle actually had to be played out without the spacetime bubble. This is by far the most fun I've had with aurora and very nearly the most fun I've had with any video game. I used This as a consistent soundtrack throughout.
Okay.
Fun comments end now. Time for serious stuff.

Background:
By 2139, the Concordance of Worlds had established itself as the sole, legitimate power in human space. For the first time, humanity had been at last been united as never before. Earthbound control  of the nine worlds had been totally abolished, with each world left to govern and develop itself as it saw fit. A different sort of power had been consolodated in the hands of one man, Leopoldo Franca, who through the Articles of Concordance, effectively gained a monopoly on space-based weaponry. While a few militant pirate and anarchist factions continued to make trouble, this transfer of power averted an interstellar military crisis which could have easily eradicated mankind. With a large fleet of nearly indomitable warships , Franca wielded absolute power for nearly a decade following his election in 2127...until at last a threat emerged that challenged even the mighty concordance.

Lords and Elders

The advent of fusion technology spurred a new era of exploration, leading to scientific expeditions to dozens of nearby systems and the discovery of astounding and strange new life forms, primarily the "Lords" or "Regents" of Ophiuchi, a militant aquatic race controlled by astonishingly ancient "lords" the precise nature of which is still a mystery, though the leading theory is some form of superadvanced AI. While the lords of Ophiuchi presented clearly hostile intentions early on,  they made no attempt to invade and terran and Ophiuchi territory remains peacefully demarcated along the Kuiper 75 System. As of 2139, their military capabilities remain totally unknown. By 2137 explorers at the edge of known space, lead by Taylor Storey, made contact with another race in the EZ Aquarii system, Large Spaceborn Lifeforms which made no attempt to identify themselves...and every attempt to simply annihilate science corps vessels sent to investigate them on the spot. Storey's expedition returned safely, but the Concordance Science Corps correctly deduced that these "Elders", alluded to in the ancient texts of the Commune of Achird, possessed capabilities far in excess of any known spacecraft, and could very easily have followed the discharge signature trails of science corps spacecraft back to inhabited space. The Elders, who posed a nigh-existential threat to mankind, had to be eliminated.

An advance mission lead by the science corps and involving military science vessels and support craft from the first fleet was deployed to Lacaille 9352 in the summer of 2138, with orders to engage and destroy any elders detected in the system. One 60,000 ton creature and a swarm of smaller tentacled young were destroyed with minimal casualties. However, this creature turned out to be the first of many, leading to two more engagements in Alpha centauri in the fall and winter of 2138. The four million soles on Mediterranea lived in a state of constant terror, as the battle raged a few billion miles away from them. While initial predictions on the outcome of the war for alpha centauri were dire, Concordance ships won both engagements while losing only one ship, the Destroyer Escort Martinique, whose wreckage disappeared without a trace shortly after the battle. While the battle was being waged successfully, Leopoldo Franca gave the order in the winter of 2138 for commercial craft to avoid the system until it could be declared safe, following extensive military patrols.

Late March, 2139
The concordant was never popular on Mediterranea, and many of the powerful corporations of earth considered his decision to be a reprisal for the population's lack of support. Most abided his rules, but the Dlamani corporation, which profited extensively off Mediterranean space construction manufacturing, decided to run two large freighters through the Earthward Bound gate, from Proxima Centauri to Alpha Centauri, in late march of 2139, the first commercial space traffic isolated Mediterranea had seen since the battle for Alpha Centauri.

The lead freighter had travelled about a billion kilometers into Mediterranean space when it detected aberrant heat signatures astern, and had virtually no time to react before meson fire begin tearing the ship's internals apart. 94 survivors managed to reach life pods before the hostile space squids shredded their freighter, The other freighter, operate by the Patel corporation but carrying Dlamani hardware, was destroyed a few days later, after failing to evacuate the system in time.

Initial distress signals reached Mediterranea in minutes, and ground station analysts were horrified at the sheer number of assailants, anywhere from 70 to 100 alien life forms, far more than had ever been encountered before. Fleets were scrambled from Epsilon Eridani and Mars, but both were relatively untrained and ill equipped, the primary spacecraft of the concordance being either overhauled from previous battles or too far away to respond in time. 14 days remained until life support ran out.

Rescue: 3rd June, 2139
The first craft to arrive on the scene were the main line battlecraft of the forth fleet, usually stationed at mars, as well as colonial defense craft scrambled from the nearby world of Euphrates, including the light carrier "Accord". Command operations began under admiral Taylor Thompson, a political insider with aspirations to assume the Concordancy when Franca resigned (if ever). Rescue operations at this point were deemed exceedingly risky, as a jump through the Earthward Bound gate could provoke the lifeforms beyond to jump to proximate centauri, and easily overwhelm the gate's defenders. Perhaps unwisely, Thompson ordered the fourth fleet to postpone rescue operations to the last possible second. By 5:36 that day, the fleet's operations commander concluded that the rescue operations to recover the first destroyed craft would have to begin at that point, or never. The life pods had recently ceased transmitting, and less than 12 hours of power remained...within a day, chances of survival were next to none. An EWC and two escort fighters, all loaded down with excess power packs, fuel, life support systems, and medical gear, was launched through the Earthward Bound gate minutes later, though reinforcements from the second fleet were days away.

The view on june 3rd, from Proxima Centauri


the view on june 3rd, moments later, from Alpha Centauri. Note that 1 day and a few hours remains on the life pods, with rescue craft still a billion kilometers away.
« Last Edit: March 28, 2014, 07:09:23 AM by Theodidactus »
My Theodidactus, now I see that you are excessively simple of mind and more gullible than most. The Crystal Sphere you seek cannot be found in nature, look about you...wander the whole cosmos, and you will find nothing but the clear sweet breezes of the great ethereal ocean enclosed not by any bound
 

Offline Theodidactus

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Re: After Action Report: Battle of Earthward Bound
« Reply #1 on: March 27, 2014, 07:59:41 PM »
3rd June: Battle Plans and Opening Moves

The rescue team was incapable of communicating through jump gates, and also incapable of towing the life pods they were sent to rescue. The plan was simply to jump through the gate, rush to the life pods, and provide them with external power until the larger fleet could jump through and rescue them. A major offensive operation through the gate would then have to follow the rescue team no more than 24 hours after their initial jump. Several strategies were offered by commanders and dukes of the second and fourth fleets, but all seemed to necessitate massive casualties, particularly since both fleets were admittedly ill trained and ill prepared for a major engagement. As the main line battle craft of the second fleet sped toward their comrades in the 4th fleet, the rescue mission made an all-out dive for the dlamani life pods...encountering hostile contacts four hours into their expedition.

The three-craft rescue mission, all small fightercraft, make contact with more than 180 hostile alien life forms.


The rescue wing quickly broke and began evasive maneuvers, while sensor operators on board the wing's Mentor-class EWC attempted to get an exact count of the enemy forces. The enemy were easily outmanuvered, with the rescue mission continuing without much interruption. However, the Elders were now alerted to terran military presence in the system...it was unknown how they would react. In proxima Centauri, the second fleet quickly assembled, while a series of elaborate feints were launched through the gate, intending to draw the life forms away from the gate and allow a large fleet to jump in. None of these feinting missions made a kill, but severely damaged the leading seekers of the enemy life forms, and successfully lead them away from the gate.


the first of three feint attempts at 16.53 on june 3rd. Staggered missile firing patterns are the result of poor coordination among the novice fighter pilots
« Last Edit: May 12, 2014, 11:40:06 PM by Theodidactus »
My Theodidactus, now I see that you are excessively simple of mind and more gullible than most. The Crystal Sphere you seek cannot be found in nature, look about you...wander the whole cosmos, and you will find nothing but the clear sweet breezes of the great ethereal ocean enclosed not by any bound
 

Offline Theodidactus

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Re: After Action Report: Battle of Earthward Bound
« Reply #2 on: March 27, 2014, 08:19:39 PM »
4th June: Success

By June 4th, survivors in the dlamani's cluster of 7 life pods were beginning to feel the initial effects of carbon dioxide poisoning. Life Pod heaters and CO2 Scrubbing systems had shut down hours ago. An enterprising signalman on board one life pod had detected, through use of a makeshift receiver, the characteristic "double flash" emissions of fusion bombs from the Earthward Bound gate, but the survivors very much doubted rescue would arrive in time. They had received no transmissions from rescue craft, which had long ago left the range of the Elder's main battle pack, and were afraid of emitting any signal that might give away their position. No advanced warning was given until 5:20 on June 4th, when the Mentor AWC transmitted an all-points broadcast to the Dlamani lifepods indicating that rescue operations would begin in less than 20 minutes. Said one survivor:

"Understand, we had given ourselves up for dead hours, if not days, ago. I was light headed and weak. I'd penned a note to my wife and children, and helped an illiterate z0 operator write something for his son, on Tiamat or somewhere. The moment we heard the signal he gave out a triumphant cry and tore the notes up. To this day, I can't actually remember what I wrote..."

Rescue operations were underway, with power beginning to flow to the pod life support systems at 5:55. At 6:20, crew aboard the EWC began connecting pods and blowing open hatches, in an attempt to construct a makeshift station which would support the rescue team and the survivors of the initial attack until the larger fleet could make its way to that area of the system. It was still not known when help would arrive, or even if the fleet would be able to defeat the Elders massed near the gate. There was some concern that wandering Elder battle packs might attack the station. At 6:55, the descision was made to activate the EWC's Brasil scanning system, betraying the survivors position, but revealing comprehensive information about battle packs operating in the area near the station. Survivors were overjoyed to learn that there were no enemies near them. Now it was simply a matter of staying alive.



Rescue crews begin powering life support pods, hours before the probability of death by oxygen deprivation reached 90%. By some miracle, No survivors were lost
« Last Edit: March 28, 2014, 07:10:26 AM by Theodidactus »
My Theodidactus, now I see that you are excessively simple of mind and more gullible than most. The Crystal Sphere you seek cannot be found in nature, look about you...wander the whole cosmos, and you will find nothing but the clear sweet breezes of the great ethereal ocean enclosed not by any bound
 

Offline Theodidactus

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Re: After Action Report: Battle of Earthward Bound
« Reply #3 on: March 27, 2014, 08:32:57 PM »
5th June: Battle
The battle fleets on the other side of the Earthward Bound gate waited far longer than 24 hours to begin their attack, in part because they were waiting on stragglers from the second fleet. At that point, it was still unknown whether the rescue teams had succeeded in their initial recovery, though the admiralty knew that there was no immediate danger in jumping through the gate, as the primary Elder battle pack was an hour or more away at that point. Once the fleets had been assembled, the order was given to jump to Alpha Centauri at 17:00 on June 5th. The attack force constituted very nearly the largest combined fleet ever assembled by humanity, though most ships were crewed and captained by humans who had never seen battle. What follows is a full list of ships involved in the battle.

1 Command Ship: The Carrier Alexandre
4 main line battleships: The Monticello-class battlecruisers Ares, Tiamat, Vadim and Titan
1 missile cruiser: the Statesman-class missile cruiser James Madison
2 beam cruisers: the Pride of Bangalore class cruisers Jin Liming and Kaui Liuxing
1 light carrier: The carrier Accord
8 escort craft: the destroyer-escorts Ranikot, Montsegur, Chapar-Ghata, Kantara, Chandragiri, Montagu, vanderberg, and windsor
3 frigates the alceste class battle frigates Adi Puteri Courtney and Li Jing
13 fighters all 3rd generation Luchador strikefighters
4 bombers all 3rd generation Voodoo photon bombers
2 EWCs

Early on it was decided that a separate carrier group from the second fleet should remain in the proxima centauri system, in case the attack failed and the battle pack turned on proxima centauri.


For nearly 3 hours, both fleet and pack manuvered around one another in the depths of space. Missile Fire from the James madison harrassed the Elder battle pack, but Admiral Thompson continued to delay a direct engagement, preferring to send waves of fightercraft to cripple or mission-kill individual aliens. By 21:00, four fighters had been lost, and dozens of elders crippled or destroyed. Admiral Thompson ordered the fleet to prepare to directly engage the battle pack.

a fighter skirmish at 19:53 engages the battle pack, with fire support from the James Madison. Over the course of 4 hours, the Elders shot down four luchador fighters. About 20 Elders were crippled or destroyed from fighter attacks or fire from the James Madison


The fleet at 21:00, just before final engagement with the enemy


Broadside
by 21:38, the enemy battle pack had closed to firing distance. Concordance standard battle doctrine was built around the cobalt torpedo, a short-ranged, devastatingly powerful shaped fusion energy charge, capable of annihilating most enemy targets within 5 million kilometers. With 50 tubes firing in unison, two broadsides were estimated to be easily able to reduce the enemy battle pack to about half its strength, even assuming impressive manuvering capabilities...it was simply a matter of firing in unison, and before the battle pack had time to attack the fleet at close range. To quote one torpedo officer aboard the Ranikot

Thompson simply expected us to execute the attacks in the allotted time. The cobalt's fast, but slow firing, even under ideal conditions it can take between 3 and 5 minutes to reset the tubes. After we fired our first broadside we worked like mad, static discharge everywhere, coolant leaks, it was horrible. Felt like 10 years...and 10 seconds. At the end though, we were able to get the second shot off in time. Our fellow seamen on other craft weren't so lucky...but we worked as fast as we could. Lives were at stake

« Last Edit: March 28, 2014, 07:10:47 AM by Theodidactus »
My Theodidactus, now I see that you are excessively simple of mind and more gullible than most. The Crystal Sphere you seek cannot be found in nature, look about you...wander the whole cosmos, and you will find nothing but the clear sweet breezes of the great ethereal ocean enclosed not by any bound
 

Offline Theodidactus

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Re: After Action Report: Battle of Earthward Bound
« Reply #4 on: March 27, 2014, 09:27:28 PM »
Victory

Following two broadsides, the battle pack had been reduced to 30 life forms, many badly injured. The attackers were able to evade the initial turbolaser shots from the battle fleet, but eventually succumbed to narrowbeam laser turrets and blistering fire from the neon cannons aboard the four battlecruisers.  The firefight lasted two minutes and did significant damage to the Augustus with more than 100 crewmen perishing. The craft's starboard flight deck and hanger substructure were completely destroyed, but by some miracle, the craft held together, and the alien menace was defeated.
My Theodidactus, now I see that you are excessively simple of mind and more gullible than most. The Crystal Sphere you seek cannot be found in nature, look about you...wander the whole cosmos, and you will find nothing but the clear sweet breezes of the great ethereal ocean enclosed not by any bound
 

 

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