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Offline Steve Walmsley (OP)

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Crusade - Updates
« on: July 21, 2019, 09:04:02 AM »
Y2500
Survey operations carried out by the six Tempest class survey frigates in Y2500 included a gravitational survey of Sol, the discovery of six new systems and complete or partial geological surveys in five systems, including Sol. Sol itself had three jump points in an arc covering 90 degrees with distances between two point seven and three point five billion kilometres, with a fourth on the opposite side of the system in the Kuiper Belt, way out at six billion. In order of ascending distance, those four jump points led to Alpha Centauri, Barnard’s Star, Hesperus and Sirius. Barnard’s Star and Hesperus were planetless red dwarf and brown dwarf systems respectively. Sirius was a bright white star sixty times more luminous than Sol, orbited by two unremarkable planets. Alpha Centauri was by far the most interesting system

The yellow G2-V primary, a very similar star to Sol, was orbited at three point five billion kilometres by an orange K1-V star. Both stars had planetary systems, with seven planets and forty-five moons in total. Six of the moons were colony cost 2.00 with a seventh at 2.74 and two more at 3.00. A further thirty-two moons had low gravity colony costs less than 3.00. Unfortunately, only two potential colony sites had significant water and they all lacked a suitable atmosphere. The mineral situation was very different.

The innermost planet of the primary had vast, multi-million ton deposits of Duranium and Neutronium, both at 0.8 accessibility, plus twelve million tons of accessibility 0.5 Corundium and four other low accessibility minerals. The second planet contained deposits of all eleven minerals, albeit at low accessibility except for Corbomite.  The most promising mining site was the seventeenth moon of the third planet, with large, mid to high accessibility deposits of seven minerals, including six million tons of accessibility 0.9 Duranium. Several other sites had large deposits of multiple minerals, with one or more at high accessibility. Finally, the second planet of the companion star was a gas giant with seven hundred thousand tons of accessibility 1.0 Sorium. This final discovery was particularly welcome as none of Sol’s four gas giants had any Sorium in their atmosphere. The harvester stations were towed to Alpha Centauri-B II.

Alpha Centauri-A I Survey Report
Duranium:   18,985,122   0.80
Neutronium:   3,651,921   0.80
Corbomite:   13,439,556   0.20
Boronide:   12,320,100   0.10
Vendarite:   4,272,489   0.10
Sorium:   12,873,744   0.10
Corundium:   12,320,100   0.50

Alpha Centauri-A II Survey Report
Duranium:   581,042   0.20
Neutronium:   2,371,600   0.10
Corbomite:   54,641,664   0.70
Tritanium:   1,713,481   0.10
Boronide:   2,614,689   0.10
Mercassium:   59,290,000   0.10
Vendarite:   7,263,025   0.10
Sorium:   13,097,161   0.30
Uridium:   15,421,329   0.10
Corundium:   36,072,036   0.10
Gallicite:   43,850,884   0.10

Alpha Centauri-A III Moon 17 Survey Report
Duranium:   6,111,008   0.90
Neutronium:   51,984   0.70
Corbomite:   467,856   0.50
Vendarite:   1,299,600   0.60
Sorium:   207,936   0.80
Uridium:   1,923,769   0.30
Corundium:   763,876   0.50

The Centaurus colony was established on the seventeenth moon of the third planet, which contained the most accessible mineral deposits. The moon lacked both water and atmosphere so the Gaia class stations were towed into place to begin terraforming. Given the complete lack of habitability except for gravity and temperature, it would be a slow process. By the end of the year, the colony had a population of one point five million, supported by infrastructure shipped in from Terra. Five maintenance facilities were also transported to the colony, along with a quantity of maintenance supplies, allowing the Sword class frigate Rapier to be stationed at Centaurus for local defence.





A full gravitational survey of Hesperus and a partial survey of Barnard’s Star resulted in the discovery of a jump point in each system. These were explored by Falchion class frigates and led to the systems of Arcadia and Regulus respectively. Arcadia was a red dwarf with seven planets, the innermost of which was a tide-locked world larger than Earth, with acceptable gravity, temperature and water. Great oceans covered almost seventy percent of the surface while the land was mostly snow-covered forests, known as Taiga on Terra. Gravity was high at 1.27G and the average temperature was just below freezing. The nitrogen - oxygen atmosphere was denser than Earth at 1.29 atm but the oxygen content was only 3%. If that oxygen content was increased, Arcadia I would become an ideal habitable world. Deposits of all eleven minerals were present, albeit at minimal accessibility except for Uridium. The Imperium designed the planet as a key future colony site. There were several bodies with mineral deposits, although none as promising as in Alpha Centauri. Four sites did have potential for a ground survey and some of the outer moons had yet to be surveyed from orbit, so that initial assessment was subject to possible change. The Regulus system, beyond Barnard’s Star, was a red dwarf binary with three planets. Two were colony cost 2.00 but one lacked water and atmosphere while the other had an atmosphere of methane and ammonia. The geological survey had not yet taken place.



In Sol, the geological survey of the Kuiper Belt was put on hold as the six Tempest class survey frigates moved into the surrounding systems. In order to complete the Sol survey, the Talos class survey craft was designed. The Talos was the same size as a Starhawk bomber and designed for long-term, slow-paced operations. Four were constructed in Y2500 and were still engaged in the Kuiper Belt survey at the end of the year.

Talos class Survey Craft      500 tons       13 Crew       125.5 BP       TCS 10    TH 10    EM 0
1000 km/s      Armour 1-5       Shields 0-0       HTK 3      Sensors 0/0/0/1      DCR 0      PPV 0
Maint Life 4.26 Years     MSP 39    AFR 8%    IFR 0.1%    1YR 3    5YR 52    Max Repair 100 MSP
Lieutenant Commander    Control Rating 1   
Intended Deployment Time: 48 months    Morale Check Required   

Survey Shuttle Engine (1)    Power 10    Fuel Use 15.84%    Signature 10    Explosion 4%
Fuel Capacity 52,000 Litres    Range 118.2 billion km (1367 days at full power)

Geological Survey Sensors (1)   1 Survey Points Per Hour

The civilian sector played its part as the Imperium took its first steps into deep space. The Van Votz Mining Company established a small civilian mining colony on the asteroid Apollo, close to the orbit of Mars, while the Ekimus Limited shipping line launched two freighters and a colony ship. These were small vessels compared to the Universe and Jericho ships of the Imperial Navy.

The two main challenges facing the Imperium during Y2500 were manpower and wealth. The Imperium had expanded to the maximum possible point before embarking on its crusade to return humanity to the Stars, which mean further industrial expansion was only possible as the necessary workers become available. This could happen through population growth in general or the expansion of the manufacturing sector in particular. Small colonies were expected to have higher growth and a larger portion of their population dedicated to manufacturing so the Centaurus colony and a similar-sized settlement on Mars were the first steps in addressing the manpower shortage. Further colonies would be a priority as suitable worlds were discovered.

Wealth was an even greater concern. While Terra had considerable industrial potential, that potential could only be fully exploited if the required wealth was available. A significant portion of shipyard capacity lay idle and the production of maintenance supplies was intermittent. At full output Terra’s maintenance facilities consumed more than twenty percent of annual wealth in the production of supplies. Given the voracious consumption of supplies by the Imperial Navy, that production capacity could not be left idle for long. New sources of wealth were required, either through the creation of financial centres, the expansion of the civilian sector or improvements in economic-based technology.

Y2501
Y2501 say a considerable expansion in the boundaries of the Imperium with fifteen systems discovered during the year. Although a third of the new systems were planetless, a number of potential colony sites were identified. Carpathia, a red dwarf system connected to Alpha Centauri, had five planets. The third was a terrestrial world with adequate water, temperature of -47C and a nitrogen atmosphere of 0.37 atm that contained two percent oxygen. The addition of oxygen and aestusium would create an ideal habitable world, given sufficient time. The inner world of five in Proxima Centauri, a system beyond Sirius, had similar conditions, albeit with a much thinner atmosphere. The Athena system, three jumps from Sol via Bernard’s Star and Colchis, was a red dwarf binary with five planets, fifty-one moons and almost five hundred asteroids. The second planet was a cold world covered by frozen oceans with the small amount of land area dominated by tundra. The nitrogen-oxygen atmosphere of 0.48 atm was close to breathable, requiring only the lowering of the oxygen content thirty-six percent to thirty percent.

Following the development of jump point stabilisation technology, the first Stargate class Jump Stabilisation Station was launched in February Y2501 and towed to the Sol - Alpha Centauri jump point. The Sol side was stabilised in mid-Y2501 and the Alpha Centauri side was close to completion at the end of the year.

Stargate class Jump Stabilisation Station      50,725 tons       116 Crew       1,100.1 BP       TCS 1,014    TH 0    EM 0
1 km/s      No Armour       Shields 0-0     HTK 13      Sensors 6/8/0/0      DCR 1      PPV 0
MSP 13    Max Repair 1000 MSP
Lieutenant Commander    Control Rating 1   BRG   
Intended Deployment Time: 3 months   
Jump Point Stabilisation: 180 days

MK I Commercial Active Augur Array (1)     GPS 1920     Range 31.5m km    Resolution 120
MK I Electromagnetic Augur Array (1)     Sensitivity 8     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  22.4m km
MK I Thermal Augur Array (1)     Sensitivity 6     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  19.4m km

In March, a new colony of one point five million was established on the inner planet of the Arcadia system, adjacent to Sol. Sufficient maintenance facilities were transported to the Arcadia colony and to the Centaurus colony in Alpha Centauri for both worlds to support a frigate squadron. The Arcadia and Centauri squadrons each comprised a Sword class frigate, a Firestorm class frigate and a Cobra class destroyer. A refuelling station was also transported to the Centaurus colony, partially to support Imperium exploration efforts and partially to provide an unloading point for tankers travelling to the six harvesting stations in orbit of Alpha Centauri-B II.

The Tempest class survey frigate proved very useful as the Imperium began its exploration of the galaxy and contributed to its rapid expansion, yet it suffered from one weakness; a lack of endurance. With the experience gained from the deployment of the first six ships, an updated design was created to correct that problem. The primary change was the replacement of the two Ravenor Drive Systems RDS-300 Ion Drives with the less powerful but more fuel efficient Ravenor Drive Systems RDS-210E Ion Drive. One of the two Astaroth Kinetics AK-15 Weapons Batteries was removed and the available space was used for additional fuel, engineering space and crew quarters. The result was the Tempest-E, with double the deployment time of the Tempest and three times the range. By November Y2501, the Trajan Iron Works shipyard had been retooled to build the updated design. Following the launch of the seventh and eighth Tempests, Evening Star and Emperor’s Light, the shipyard began a program of converting the existing ships to the new design.

Tempest-E class Survey Frigate      7,500 tons       179 Crew       1,137.1 BP       TCS 150    TH 420    EM 600
2800 km/s      Armour 2-34       Shields 20-300       HTK 52      Sensors 6/8/2/2      DCR 6      PPV 14.4
Maint Life 4.97 Years     MSP 568    AFR 75%    IFR 1.0%    1YR 38    5YR 573    Max Repair 100 MSP
Commander    Control Rating 1   BRG   
Intended Deployment Time: 48 months    Morale Check Required   

Ravenor Drive Systems RDS-210E Ion Drive (2)    Power 420    Fuel Use 18.15%    Signature 210    Explosion 7%
Fuel Capacity 853,000 Litres    Range 112.8 billion km (466 days at full power)
Valentinian-Stern VS-20 Void Shield (1)     Recharge Time 300 seconds (0.1 per second)

Dominus-Varnus Defence Systems DV-1 Defence Turret (1x3)    Range 30,000km     TS: 16000 km/s     Power 0-0     RM 30,000 km    ROF 5       
Astaroth Kinetics AK-15 Weapons Battery (1x4)    Range 90,000km     TS: 4,000 km/s     Accuracy Modifier 100%     RM 30,000 km    ROF 15       
MK I Defence Turret Fire Control (1)     Max Range: 64,000 km   TS: 16,000 km/s     84 69 53 38 22 6 0 0 0 0
MK I Energy Weapon Fire Control (1)     Max Range: 256,000 km   TS: 4,000 km/s     96 92 88 84 80 77 73 69 65 61
Trajan-Vandis TV-3 Gas-Cooled Fast Reactor (1)     Total Power Output 3.2    Exp 5%

MK I Frigate Active Augur Array (1)     GPS 4800     Range 51.3m km    Resolution 100
MK I Small Torpedo Detection Array (1)     GPS 4     Range 2.9m km    MCR 310.9k km    Resolution 1
MK I Electromagnetic Augur Array (1)     Sensitivity 8     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  22.4m km
MK I Thermal Augur Array (1)     Sensitivity 6     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  19.4m km
Gravitational Survey Sensors (2)   2 Survey Points Per Hour
Geological Survey Sensors (2)   2 Survey Points Per Hour

In addition to the two Tempests, several warships were completed. The Vorax shipyard constructed the Sword class frigates Final Silence and Order Absolute while Tacitus Industries built the Firestorm class frigate Liberator. The Astaroth Naval Shipyard completed the 18,000-ton Dauntless class light cruisers Advocate and Uziel. A Jericho class colony ship and an Ambrosia class fuel harvesting station were also added to the Fleet. A second civilian mining colony, Balian Mining Limited, was established on the comet Schaumasse, while the shipping line, Ekimus Limited, increased its small fleet to three freighters and a colony ship.

The greatest challenges facing the Imperium at the end of T2501 were rapidly diminishing wealth reserves and a Duranium stockpile that had fallen to just 1200 tons. Manpower shortages were still a concern, but that situation was improving. A secondary concern was that a number of worlds had terraforming potential, yet the four Gaia class stations with a total of twenty terraforming modules were making very slow progress. More stations or improved technology was required if the Imperium was to fulfil its mission to recolonise the galaxy.

Y2502
Six new systems were discovered in Y2502, increasing the size of known space to twenty-eight systems in total. Seven jump point probes were conducted but one of those led from Aeolus, four transits out via Hesperus, Arcadia and AD Leonis, to Barnard’s star, adjacent to Sol, creating a six-system loop. Four of the newly discovered systems were planetless. The fifth was Macharia, discovered via a third jump point in Aeolus, which was a red dwarf star with twelve planets and one hundred and twenty-five moons. A geological survey of the system was underway and had already located thirty million tons of accessibility 0.5 Duranium on the second planet, along with five minimal accessibility minerals in similar qualities. There was low potential for a ground survey. The planet was generally inhospitable but did have large ice sheets and a thin nitrogen – oxygen atmosphere. Terraforming priority would depend on the results of the ground survey.

The final and most interesting system to be discovered was Altair, a bright, white sub-giant seventeen light years from Earth. The star had ten planets, the outermost of which orbited at twenty-six billion kilometres, with a total of forty-seven moons. A small asteroid belt clustered around the primary and second, much larger, belt formed a halo around the system as far out as seventy billion kilometres. Altair’s first five planets were all terrestrial worlds. Altair I was a mountainous Venusian world with an atmospheric pressure one hundred and seventy times greater than Earth and a surface temperature of almost eight hundred degrees. Altair II was another mountainous world, with acceptable gravity and a temperature close to ideal for human, making it colony cost 2.00. Unfortunately, it lacked both water and an atmosphere. Altair III, also colony cost 2.00, was mostly desert, with eighteen percent water, temperatures a few degrees above human tolerance and an atmosphere of 0.52 atm, comprising ninety-nine percent nitrogen and a trace of ammonia. Removing the ammonia, adding oxygen and lowering the temperature a little would create an ideal habitable world.

Altair IV was volcanically active and scarred by huge rift valleys. With human-tolerable temperature, the planet would have been an ocean world. With the actual temperature of -85C, the planet was completely covered by ice, with the exception of areas of recent volcanic activity. The thin atmosphere was mainly nitrogen – oxygen with eleven percent sulphur dioxide. Oxygen comprised thirty-six percent of the atmosphere with an atmosphere pressure of 0.09 atm, which was close to breathable for human. Despite the hostile environment, the world was a realistic terraforming prospect. A small amount of oxygen plus sufficient aestusium to increase the temperature would create an ideal world.

Altair V had ninety-three percent of the surface covered in oceans and, despite being eight hundred million kilometres further from the star than the frozen Altair IV, had a balmy temperature of twenty degrees. Unfortunately, the atmosphere of 0.82 atm was composed almost entirely of CO2, which explained the temperature. Given its diameter of 22,000 km, removing the CO2 and terraforming the planet would be impossible on any realistic timescale. Even so, Altair V was still colony cost 2.00 so it could be settled using supporting infrastructure. Overall, Altair had some very promising real estate for colonisation. As yet there was no geological survey. However, Altair was a relatively young star, which usually meant a higher chance of mineral deposits, so expectations were high.



During Y2502, new colonies were established in Taranis, Carpathia, Aeolus and Athena, each with five hundred thousand settlers. All the colony sites were colony cost 2.00 and, with the exception of Athena, were two jumps from Terra. Aeolus I lacked minerals, water and atmosphere and was created to establish a presence in the system, rather than to create a large population. Taranis II also lacked water and atmosphere but did have large, accessible deposits of four key minerals and was seen as a future mining colony. Carpathia III lacked minerals but had both water and a nitrogen – oxygen atmosphere. The atmosphere needed more oxygen and the temperature was -47C, but it was a realistic terraforming prospect and the planet had a capacity of more two billion. Athena II had deposits of all eleven minerals, albeit at minimal accessibility except for Duranium and Uridium, and had an atmosphere that was close to breathable. Temperature was low at -50C but that be corrected, especially as melting of the vast ice sheets on the planet would likely reduce the amount of sunlight reflected back into space. Athena was the only colony three transits from Sol and as a gas giant in the system had five hundred million tons of accessibility 0.9 Sorium, Athena II was seen as a future fleet base.
 
Taranis Colony Survey Report
Duranium:   991,232   0.70
Neutronium:   278,784   0.30
Boronide:   20,736   0.60
Gallicite:   1,048,576   0.70

Athena Colony Survey Report
Duranium:   51,200   1.00
Neutronium:   21,529,600   0.10
Corbomite:   14,137,600   0.10
Tritanium:   14,745,600   0.10
Boronide:   4,000,000   0.10
Mercassium:   20,070,400   0.10
Vendarite:   55,353,600   0.10
Sorium:   4,665,600   0.10
Uridium:   13,542,400   0.60
Corundium:   6,400   0.10
Gallicite:   9,734,400   0.10

Research in Y2502 concentrated on ground forces and biology. Genome Sequencing and Boarding Combat Capability were both researched early in the year, allowing the development of the Small Troop Transport Boarding Bay and Basic Genetic Enhancement for infantry. The Heavy Vehicle chassis was developed in late October. At the end of the year research priorities were Heavy Vehicle Armour and an improvement in terraforming capability, although a quarter of the research facilities were engaged in a number of minor projects.

Ship construction in Y2502 included the first new cruiser-class warships since the Imperium moved into space. The Lunar class cruiser Iron Duke and the Dictator class cruiser Archon Kort both joined the fleet, along with the Endurance class light cruiser Bellator Stoicus and Falchion class Jump Frigate Claymore. The Tempest class survey frigates Ascension, Covenant, Quaesitor and Sapientius were all converted to the Tempest-E variant. The vital logistical support structure of the Fleet was boosted by the construction of the third Galaxy class support vessel, an Empyrean class jump tender, a Brigantine class tanker, two Gaia class terraforming stations, an Ambrosia class fuel harvesting station and three Stargate class jump point stabilisation stations. The availability of the Stargate class stations began to make an impact in Y2502 as stable links were created between Sol and the adjacent systems of Alpha Centauri, Barnard’s Star and Hesperus.

The growth of the Imperial Navy since it moved into space exceeded the ability of the Imperium to provide maintenance support, so Imperial industry in Y2502 divided construction efforts between new maintenance facilities to support the Fleet and financial centres to alleviate the continuing financial crisis. New construction also depleted the reserves of maintenance supplies so maintenance supply construction was a major factor during the year, requiring twenty-one percent of all wealth expenditure. In fact, expenditure on maintenance supplies was the second highest cost of the year, behind ship construction at twenty-three percent. Research was the third highest expenditure at fifteen percent. Maintenance of ground forces consumed a further six point three percent.

The strategic challenges remained the same for Imperium in Y2502 as they did in the previous year. Wealth reserves continued to diminish and the Duranium stockpile reached crisis level. At one point, the stockpile fell to two hundred and fifty tons and by the end of year had only increased to six hundred. Construction of additional mines was on hold due to higher priorities but would have to be addressed soon. Shipbuilding, including the upgrading of existing shipyards, was at minimal levels at the end of the year, with only six warships and four commercial vessels under construction and three shipyards being upgraded out of twenty-two. Terraforming remained a priority too. Several worlds had terraforming potential but the Imperium’s terraforming resources were concentrated on the Centaurus Colony, building an atmosphere and ecosystem from scratch to support future mining operations. More Gaia class stations were needed, along with improved terraforming technology. The main item of good news was that the manpower shortage was easing, with five million available workers on Terra.




 
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Offline Steve Walmsley (OP)

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Re: Crusade - Updates
« Reply #1 on: July 25, 2019, 10:16:01 AM »
Y2503
Six new systems were discovered during Y2503. Carcharias and Magnus were unremarkable, Erebus, Endymion and Lysades each had a pair of colony class 2.00 worlds, none of which were close to habitable, while Prospero had the first world except for Terra to have a breathable atmosphere. The Prospero system was a red dwarf binary with five planets orbiting the companion star. The second planet had a nitrogen-oxygen atmosphere of 0.88 atm, gravity of 0.99G and ice sheets covering ninety-two percent of the surface area. Although the surface temperature was -108C, Prospero-B II was tide-locked, which meant the semi-habitable area had a colony cost of 0.82.

Another connection between known system was discovered. A jump point in the Delos system, four transits from Earth via Barnard’s Star, Colchis and Athena, led to Hesperus, a system adjacent to Sol. As with the recently-discovered link between Aeolus and Barnard’s Star, this connection was made through a dormant jump point. Dormant jump points could not be detected until a ship passed through them from the far side, which meant any system in the Imperium could theoretically connect to a hostile alien empire and there would be no warning before alien warships entered that system. Prospero was adjacent to Delos, which meant the near-habitable world in that system was much closer to Terra now the link was established.

During the year, colonies were established on Prospero-B II, Macharia II and on the second and third planets of the Altair system. The geological survey of Altair, still ongoing at the end of the year, revealed substantial deposits on several worlds with a range of accessibilities. The Altair colonies were on both on colony cost 2.00 worlds, with the third planet being a good terraforming candidate.

Altair I Survey Report
Duranium:   46,541,952   0.40
Corbomite:   1,297,321   0.80
Boronide:   5,189,284   0.10
Mercassium:   14,077,504   0.10
Sorium:   30,184,036   0.10
Uridium:   9,090,225   1.00
Gallicite:   25,250,625   0.10

Altair II Survey Report
Duranium:   14,193,792   0.60
Neutronium:   10,265,616   0.90
Corbomite:   7,096,896   0.20
Tritanium:   1,498,176   0.10
Mercassium:   10,036,224   0.10
Vendarite:   5,817,744   0.10
Gallicite:   6,718,464   0.70

Altair III Survey Report
Duranium:   10,053,128   0.60
Neutronium:   10,679,824   0.10
Corbomite:   8,122,500   0.70
Tritanium:   9,709,456   0.50
Boronide:   7,075,600   0.10
Mercassium:   10,929,636   0.10
Vendarite:   698,896   1.00
Sorium:   14,152,644   0.90
Uridium:   1,669,264   0.10
Corundium:   10,929,636   0.30
Gallicite:   1,214,404   0.10

Based on the research into boarding capability conducted during Y2502, two new ship classes were designed in Y2503. The first was the Thunderhawk class Assault Transport, a 1000-ton vessel designed to launch boarders against hostile ships. Even with a speed of 7200 km/s, the Thunderhawk was not fast enough to successfully assault warships with similar speeds to Imperial designs, at least not without heavy casualties among the boarding parties, so the ideal target ship would be a lower moving commercial vessel or a damaged warship. By the end of Y2503, two Thunderhawks were in service

Thunderhawk class Assault Transport      1,000 tons       21 Crew       107.9 BP       TCS 20    TH 144    EM 0
7202 km/s      Armour 1-8       Shields 0-0       HTK 3      Sensors 0/0/0/0      DCR 0      PPV 0
Maint Life 0.32 Years     MSP 6    AFR 80%    IFR 1.1%    1YR 19    5YR 280    Max Repair 72 MSP
Troop Capacity 500 tons     Boarding Capable   
Lieutenant Commander    Control Rating 1   
Intended Deployment Time: 0.5 months    Morale Check Required   

Ravenor Drive Systems AC-96 Attack Craft Ion Drive (1)    Power 144    Fuel Use 511.21%    Sign 144    Exp 20%
Fuel Capacity 74,000 Litres    Range 2.6 billion km (4 days at full power)
MK I Shuttle Active Augur Array (1)     GPS 160     Range 9.4m km    Resolution 100

The Vanguard class Strike Cruiser was a light cruiser-sized warship armed with four weapon batteries, two lance batteries and a defence turret. The armament and passive defences were lighter than the equivalent-size Dauntless class so the Vanguard could incorporate a hangar bay with a capacity of 3000 tons, sufficient to carry three Thunderhawk class Assault Transports. The mission of the Vanguard was to disable and board enemy ships. The first ship was laid down in Y2503 with an estimated delivery date of March Y2505

Vanguard class Strike Cruiser      18,000 tons       436 Crew       2,387.5 BP       TCS 360    TH 1,440    EM 600
4000 km/s      Armour 4-61       Shields 20-300       HTK 110      Sensors 6/8/0/0      DCR 13      PPV 54.32
Maint Life 2.50 Years     MSP 1,077    AFR 199%    IFR 2.8%    1YR 239    5YR 3,583    Max Repair 240 MSP
Hangar Deck Capacity 3,000 tons     
Commander    Control Rating 2   BRG   AUX   
Intended Deployment Time: 18 months    Flight Crew Berths 60    Morale Check Required   

Ravenor Drive Systems RDS-480 Ion Drive (3)    Power 1440    Fuel Use 35.00%    Signature 480    Explosion 10%
Fuel Capacity 1,124,000 Litres    Range 32.1 billion km (92 days at full power)
Valentinian-Stern VS-20 Void Shield (1)     Recharge Time 300 seconds (0.1 per second)

Dominus-Varnus Defence Systems DV-2 Defence Turret (1x6)    Range 30,000km     TS: 16000 km/s     Power 0-0     RM 30,000 km    ROF 5       
Astaroth Kinetics AK-15 Weapons Battery (4x4)    Range 90,000km     TS: 4,000 km/s     Accuracy Modifier 100%     RM 30,000 km    ROF 15       
Valentinian Precision Armaments V4-200 Lance Battery (2)    Range 256,000km     TS: 4,000 km/s     Power 10-3     RM 200,000 km    ROF 20       
MK I Defence Turret Fire Control (1)     Max Range: 64,000 km   TS: 16,000 km/s     84 69 53 38 22 6 0 0 0 0
MK I Energy Weapon Fire Control (2)     Max Range: 256,000 km   TS: 4,000 km/s     96 92 88 84 80 77 73 69 65 61
Trajan-Vandis TV-10 Gas-Cooled Fast Reactor (2)     Total Power Output 21.8    Exp 5%

MK I Light Cruiser Active Augur Array (1)     GPS 11520     Range 77.1m km    Resolution 120
MK I Torpedo Detection Array (1)     GPS 16     Range 6.4m km    MCR 695.1k km    Resolution 1
MK I Thermal Augur Array (1)     Sensitivity 6     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  19.4m km
MK I Electromagnetic Augur Array (1)     Sensitivity 8     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  22.4m km

Morning Star became the fifth and last Tempest class survey frigate to be converted to the Tempest-E design, as the Trajan Iron Works orbital shipyard was retooled to the new Tempest-J. The extended range of the Tempest-E had proven to be very useful in survey operations, but it was still constrained by the availability of Falchion class jump frigates to provide an escort through jump points. The Falchion class had even less endurance than the original Tempest, so matching up the Falchions with the Tempests was a logistical challenge and took the Falchions away from their primary mission of providing jump capability for frigate squadrons. Therefore, the controversial Tempest-J variant was designed.

The Tempest-J retained the same survey capability and endurance as the Tempest-E and added the jump drive used by the Falchion class. In order to accommodate the large jump drive, the armament was removed and the passive defences reduced to minimal levels. This modification caused impassioned arguments within the Imperial Navy, as many senior officers would not countenance an Imperial warship that could not fight or defend itself. Eventually, the Emperor intervened personally to approve the new design. Humanity needed to find and eliminate alien influence in the galaxy and the Tempest-J would speed up that process. However, he agreed the Tempests needed support, so new fleet bases would be set up as the Imperium expanded to ensure Imperial warships were never far away.

Tempest-J class Survey Frigate      7,500 tons       189 Crew       1,014.7 BP       TCS 150    TH 420    EM 0
2800 km/s    JR 3-50      Armour 1-34       Shields 0-0       HTK 51      Sensors 6/0/2/2      DCR 8      PPV 0
Maint Life 5.60 Years     MSP 676    AFR 56%    IFR 0.8%    1YR 36    5YR 545    Max Repair 114 MSP
Commander    Control Rating 1   BRG   
Intended Deployment Time: 54 months    Morale Check Required   

Ravenor Drive Systems RM-75 Military Jump Drive     Max Ship Size 7500 tons    Dist 50k km     Squadron Size 3
Ravenor Drive Systems RDS-210E Ion Drive (2)    Power 420    Fuel Use 18.15%    Signature 210    Explosion 7%
Fuel Capacity 920,000 Litres    Range 121.7 billion km (502 days at full power)

MK I Frigate Active Augur Array (1)     GPS 4800     Range 51.3m km    Resolution 100
MK I Thermal Augur Array (1)     Sensitivity 6     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  19.4m km
Gravitational Survey Sensors (2)   2 Survey Points Per Hour
Geological Survey Sensors (2)   2 Survey Points Per Hour

New construction during Y2503 including the Dauntless class light cruiser Vengeful Martyr, the Sword class frigates Achilles and Pegasus, the Firestorm class frigate Gorgon, two Thunderhawk assault transports, a Goliath class tug, and a terraforming station. Construction factories on Terra built twenty financial centres, ten maintenance facilities, ten mines, a research facility and a new naval shipyard to construct the Thunderhawks.

New research during T2503 included heavy vehicle armour, heavy powered infantry armour and an improvement in terraforming technology. Research efforts turned to improved genetic enhancement for infantry and heavy anti-vehicle weapons. The former was not expected to be completed until late Y2505.

By the end of Y2503, four civilian mining colonies were in operation within Sol with a total of thirteen civilian mining complexes. The Ekimus Limited shipping line operated four freighters and three colony ships. Most of the civilian shipping traffic was between Terra and Mars, with an occasional run into Alpha Centauri.

Y2504
Eleven new systems were discovered in Y2504, Herodor, Hyades, Lavantia, Solstice, Valon and Varestus were all planetless. Pythos was an unremarkable red dwarf binary with eight planets. Anvilus had a K-class primary and a red dwarf companion with a total of seven planets, including two colony cost 2.00 terrestrial worlds that both had water locked up in ice sheets and three colony cost 2.00 LG dwarf planets. No geological survey had been conducted. Thracia was a red dwarf with nine planets, eighty moons and an asteroid belt. The second planet was a frozen, mountainous world with sufficient water, acceptable gravity and a 0.80 atm atmosphere of nitrogen, methane and sulphur dioxide. With limited mineral deposits, it was unlikely that Thracia-A II would become a terraforming target in the near future.

Nostramo, a red dwarf binary five jumps from Sol via Barnard’s Star, Colchis, Arconar and Valon, had three planets and an asteroid belt orbiting the primary. The innermost planet was a cold, desert world with a breathable atmosphere, acceptable gravity and a temperature of -6C. Unfortunately, the only water was in a few salty lakes, covering one percent of the surface area, which resulted in a colony cost of 1.90. If sufficient water was added, the planet would become an ideal habitable world.

Damocles, a red dwarf system connected to Arconar, also had a planet with a breathable atmosphere. Water was present in an ice sheet covering twenty percent of the surface. The planet was tide-locked so, despite a surface temperature of -103C, the colony cost was only 0.77. A settlement of two point five million colonists was established on the planet late in Y2504 and became the largest Imperial colony in terms of population after Mars. The system had three other planets and nineteen moons but the only mineral deposit was a large amount of Corbomite on the innermost world.

A new fleet base was created on Altair III, with sufficient maintenance facilities to host a frigate squadron. A refuelling station and a tracking station were transported to the planet by freighter and a stockpile of fuel and maintenance supplies was delivered by a Galaxy class support ship.

The first battlecruiser-sized warship joined the Imperial Navy in December Y2504. The Overlord class battlecruiser was an upsized Lunar class cruiser, with sixteen weapon batteries, two defence turrets, a pair of lance batteries and twelve torpedo launchers. A large magazine capacity allowed for twenty-one torpedo salvos compared to eighteen salvos of six torpedoes for the Lunar. Total armour volume and shield strength were sixty percent higher than the Lunar. The Overlord became the new flagship of the Imperial Navy.

Overlord class Battlecruiser      54,000 tons       1,353 Crew       7,234 BP       TCS 1,080    TH 4,320    EM 3,000
4000 km/s      Armour 10-127       Shields 100-300       HTK 306      Sensors 6/4/0/0      DCR 38      PPV 214.64
Maint Life 2.01 Years     MSP 3,202    AFR 610%    IFR 8.5%    1YR 1,060    5YR 15,895    Max Repair 360 MSP
Hangar Deck Capacity 500 tons     Magazine 1,512   
Captain    Control Rating 2   BRG   AUX   
Intended Deployment Time: 18 months    Flight Crew Berths 40    Morale Check Required   

Ravenor Drive Systems RDS-720 Ion Drive (6)    Power 4320    Fuel Use 28.58%    Signature 720    Explosion 10%
Fuel Capacity 2,250,000 Litres    Range 26.2 billion km (75 days at full power)
Valentinian-Stern VS-20 Void Shield (5)     Recharge Time 300 seconds (0.3 per second)

Dominus-Varnus Defence Systems DV-2 Defence Turret (2x6)    Range 30,000km     TS: 16000 km/s     Power 0-0     RM 30,000 km    ROF 5       
Astaroth Kinetics AK-15 Weapons Battery (16x4)    Range 90,000km     TS: 4,000 km/s     Accuracy Modifier 100%     RM 30,000 km    ROF 15       
Valentinian Precision Armaments V4-200 Lance Battery (2)    Range 256,000km     TS: 4,000 km/s     Power 10-3     RM 200,000 km    ROF 20       
MK I Defence Turret Fire Control (2)     Max Range: 64,000 km   TS: 16,000 km/s     84 69 53 38 22 6 0 0 0 0
MK I Energy Weapon Fire Control (4)     Max Range: 256,000 km   TS: 4,000 km/s     96 92 88 84 80 77 73 69 65 61
Trajan-Vandis TV-18 Gas-Cooled Fast Reactor (3)     Total Power Output 56.7    Exp 5%

Torpedo Launcher (12)     Missile Size: 6    Rate of Fire 25
MK I Torpedo Fire Control (2)     Range 53m km    Resolution 100
MK I Standard Torpedo (252)    Speed: 20,400 km/s    End: 40.9m     Range: 50m km    WH: 9    Size: 6    TH: 68/40/20

MK I Battlecruiser Active Augur Array (1)     GPS 34560     Range 124.8m km    Resolution 180
MK I Torpedo Detection Array (1)     GPS 16     Range 6.4m km    MCR 695.1k km    Resolution 1
MK I Small Electromagnetic Augur Array (1)     Sensitivity 4     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  15.8m km
MK I Thermal Augur Array (1)     Sensitivity 6     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  19.4m km

Other new construction in Y2504 included the Lunar class cruiser Indomitus Imperious, the Sword class frigates Heroic Endeavour and Mariatus, the Firestorm class frigate Reaver’s Dismay, the Falchion class jump frigate Gladius, the Cobra class destroyer Honoured Prophecy, two Thunderhawks, a Universe class Mass Conveyor, two Stargate class jump point stabilisation stations, a Gaia class terraforming station and an Ambrosia class fuel harvesting station. The survey frigate Tempest was refitted to the Tempest-J design.

Research was completed into a Heavy Anti-Vehicle Weapon and a Heavy Crew-served Anti-Personnel Weapon. Both systems were incorporated into the design of the new Leman Russ Battle Tank, a far larger and more capable vehicle than the Hellhound anti-infantry tank used in light armour formations. The 104-ton Leman Russ would form the core of new Armoured Regiments, although it would be several years before deployment of the new formations due to their high cost.

Leman Russ Battle Tank
Transport Size (tons) 104     Cost 12.48     Armour 48     Hit Points 48
Annual Maintenance Cost 1.6     Resupply Cost 45
Heavy Anti-Vehicle:      Shots 1      Penetration 60      Damage 60
Heavy Crew-Served Anti-Personnel:      Shots 6      Penetration 15      Damage 10

Commander Lexon Sanguinius, captain of the Tempest-E Morning Star, was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal in recognition of his surveying efforts. Commander Sanguinius had discovered ten jump points and seventy mineral-bearing bodies.

The Duranium situation had eased a little at the end of Y2504, with the stockpile reaching 1700 tons. Wealth was still an issue, even after production of maintenance supplies was suspended. As a result, the Imperium planned to cut back on warship production except for a few key vessels. The manpower shortage, which had eased a little in recent years, was back with a vengeance in Y2504. Expansion of shipyards and production of new installations had wiped out the surplus, leaving the Imperium without any available workers on Terra. Finally, the growth of the Imperial Navy had completely outstripped the available maintenance facilities, so the Imperium would need to build a large number of maintenance facilities and find some way to man them.



Y2505
Seven new systems were discovered in Y2505. Zoran was a planetless white dwarf. Cthonia, Eyrie, Gothic Malagant and Phaeton all had planetary systems, including four colony cost 2.00 worlds between them, but were generally unremarkable. Aurelia was a red dwarf system three jumps from Sol via Sirius and 70 Ophiuchi, with a single terrestrial world. With sufficient liquid water, a nitrogen-oxygen atmosphere of 0.14 atm and a temperature of -18C, the planet was a good terraforming candidate. Known space was now fifty-two systems. There was still no sign of alien or human life.

A new fleet base was established at the colony on Athena II, with maintenance facilities supporting 30,000 tons of warships plus a refuelling station. Four frigates took up station at the base. To alleviate the manpower problems on Terra, thirty financial centres were transported to the Damocles colony and a further twenty were dispatched to Prospero. By this point, the Mars colony had a population of thirteen million and was home to one hundred and thirty financial centres. Fifteen mining complexes and twenty fuel refineries were based at the Centaurus colony.

Terraforming of the Centaurus colony had been underway for six years, firstly adding an entire breathable atmosphere and then adding water vapour to that atmosphere to generate oceans. By the end of Y2505, condensation had formed large lakes covering almost eight percent of the surface. Forty percent of the atmosphere was additional water vapour that would condense over a period of approximately three years, adding a further ten percent to surface water. Two main factors had contributed to the speed of the terraforming effort. Firstly, nine Gaia class stations were in orbit of the colony with a total of forty-five terraforming modules. Secondly, the colony was based on the seventeenth moon of Alpha Centauri-A III, a body that was only slightly larger than Terra’s moon. With a diameter of 3800 km, terraforming of the moon proceeded approximately eleven times faster than on a Terra-sized world. What this meant in practical terms was that an entire ecosystem could be created on a relatively small body within a reasonable period of time, but trying to replicate that feat on a much larger planet would be very challenging.

With the terraforming effort on Centaurus approaching its goal of twenty percent surface water, Goliath class tugs began moving Gaia class stations to Athena II and Prospero-B II. Athena II, site of the new fleet base, was a cold world with an ice sheet covering ninety-six percent of the surface and the island land masses dominated by tundra. The temperature was -48C, although less infrastructure would be required than might be expected from the perspective of protecting colonists from the temperature as the planet was tide-locked. The main issue was the nitrogen-oxygen atmosphere, where the oxygen content was too high at thirty-six percent. While Athena seemed at first glance to be a much easier terraforming task than the Centaurus colony, the planet was larger than Earth at 16,000 km in diameter, which meant adding pressure to the atmosphere was eighteen times slower than on Centaurus.

Prospero-B III already had a breathable atmosphere and extensive ice sheets, so was primarily affected by temperature. The planet was tide-locked, so the surface temperature of -108C resulted in a colony cost of 0.82. As Aestusium was added, that temperature would slowly fall. It would take some time though as Prospero-B III was also larger than Earth at 14,400 km in diameter. More terraforming stations would be required.

By the end of Y2505, the Imperium had thirteen populated worlds in eleven different systems. Imperial guard regiments had been deployed to eight colonies, including Terra and Mars, frigate squadrons were deployed in Arcadia, Altair, Athena and Alpha Centauri and tracking stations were present in all inhabited systems except Macharia. As the colonial populations grew, the Emperor planned to deploy more installations, naval and ground forces away from Terra to react more quickly to any alien presence.

Research into Improved Genetic Enhancement was completed in Y2505. With the new technology available, a new type of solder, the Space Marine, was created by Terran geneticists. Equipped with new heavy powered infantry armour, trained in boarding combat and armed with a heavy bolter that had the same firepower as a crew-served anti-personnel weapon, the Space Marine was a formidable warrior. The Terminator Space Marine was even more heavily armed and carried a Storm Bolter, which had equivalent firepower to the secondary weapon of a Leman Russ battle tank. The first Space Marine formations to be trained would be Assault Forces of thirty Space Marines, six Terminator Space Marines and two command personnel. A single Thunderhawk assault transport would carry each Assault Force. As a strike cruiser had three such transports with over a hundred Space Marines in total, the force assigned to each strike cruiser would be known as a Space Marine Company.

Space Marine
Transport Size (tons)  12     Cost  2.4     Armour  16     Hit Points  12.8
Annual Maintenance Cost  0.3     Resupply Cost  6
Crew-Served Anti-Personnel:      Shots 6      Penetration 10      Damage 10
Boarding Combat
Improved Genetic Enhancement

Terminator Space Marine
Transport Size (tons)  20     Cost  4     Armour  16     Hit Points  12.8
Annual Maintenance Cost  0.5     Resupply Cost  9
Heavy Crew-Served Anti-Personnel:      Shots 6      Penetration 15      Damage 10
Boarding Combat
Improved Genetic Enhancement

New ship construction in Y2505 included the first strike cruiser, Vae Victus, the Dauntless class light cruisers Bellerophon and Aegis, the Endurance class light cruiser Indomitable Purpose, the Firestorm class frigate Just Persecution, the Cobra class destroyer Emperor’s Hand, a Goliath class tug, a Universe class mass conveyor, two Stargate class jump point stabilisation stations, an Ambrosia class fuel harvester and two Gaia class terraforming stations.

Strategic priorities remained the same as the previous year. The wealth situation was eased a little due to the development of new economic technology and transporting installations to the colonies prevented the manpower shortage in Terra from increasing. Duranium supplies were still limited. A large portion of production on Terra was dedicated to maintenance facilities but, due to new ship construction, the gap between warship tonnage and the tonnage supported by those facilities did not close.

The total strength of the Imperial Navy at the end of Y2500 was as shown below. Battlecruisers were 54,000 tons, Cruisers 36,000 tons, light cruisers 18,000 tons and escorts (frigates and destroyers) 7500 tons. In total, the Imperial Navy possessed one point two million tons of warships.

1x Overlord class Battlecruiser
6x Lunar class Cruiser
3x Dictator class Cruiser
2x Dominator class Cruiser
1x Vanguard class Strike Cruiser   
11x Dauntless class Light Cruiser
4x Endurance class Light Cruiser 
4x Endeavour class Light Cruiser   
2x Defiant class Light Cruiser   

12x Sword class Frigate
10x Firestorm class Frigate
8x Cobra class Destroyer
8x Falchion class Jump Frigate
5x Tempest-E class Survey Frigate
3x Tempest-J class Survey Frigate   

4x Thunderhawk Assault Transport
32x Starhawk class Bomber
4x Talos class Survey Craft   
26x Aquila class Lander

4x Cetaceous class Troop Transport
3x Galaxy class Support Vessel     
5x Empyrean class Jump Tender
5x Brigantine class Tanker
6x Goliath class Tug
5x Jericho class Colony Ship
8x Universe class Mass Conveyor
5x Carrack class Freighter

10x Gaia class Terraforming Station 
9x Ambrosia class Fuel Harvester Station
8x Stargate class Jump Stabilisation Station





 
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Offline Steve Walmsley (OP)

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Re: Crusade - Updates
« Reply #2 on: July 29, 2019, 05:55:53 PM »
Y2506
The boundaries of known space increased by eight systems in Y2606. All were generally unremarkable with only four worlds at colony cost 2.00, none of which were easy to terraform. From the Emperor down to the survey ships on the Rim, there was surprise at the complete lack of life, either human or alien, in explored space. The most interesting astrographic discovery of the year was a deposit of two hundred and fourteen million tons of accessibility 1.0 Duranium on the third planet of the Malagant system, six transits out from Sol. Sadly, only two other deposits were present on the same world and at much lower accessibility. The system was also unusual in that it had one hundred and ninety asteroids with colony costs of 2.00 LG and many of them had multiple accessible mineral deposits. If the Imperium began asteroid mining operations, Malagant would be a valuable system.

Fewer ships were completed in Y2506 compared to previous years, as construction slowed to address shortages of wealth and maintenance capacity. The Dauntless class light cruiser Hammer of Truth was launched from the Alexander Shipyard and the second strike cruiser, Dread Argent, was launched from the Octavian Maine Shipyard. Other construction included two Thunderhawk class assault transports, a Gaia class terraforming station and a Brigantine class tanker. The survey frigate Sapientius was refitted from a Tempest-E to a Tempest-J design.

The two strike cruisers, Vae Victus and Dread Argent, each took on board three Thunderhawk class assault transports, each of which had an assigned Space Marine assault force. The two ships were separated into a new Space Marine fleet which was reinforced by the Sword class frigates Heroic Endeavour and Valiant and the Firestorm class frigates Thunder and Vortex. The new fleet was assigned the specific mission of capturing any hostile ships to learn their technology. Two further strike cruisers were laid down.

A colony of one million was established on Nostramo I, five jumps from Terra via Barnard’s Star, Colchis, Arconar and Valon. The planet had a breathable atmosphere and temperature within the habitable range, but lacked water. A new fleet base was established on Prospero-B III, already home to a colony of two million and the site of a new terraforming operation. A refuelling station and sufficient facilities to support up to thirty thousand tons of warships were delivered to the colony late in the year. A new frigate squadron took up residence. Frigate squadrons, each with Sword, Firestorm and Cobra class ships, were present in five systems outside Sol and plans were being made to add light cruisers to each fleet base.

New research in Y2506 included orbital habitats, an improvement in railgun launch velocity and an improvement in the capacity of maintenance facilities to two thousand tons. The latter completely eliminated the lack of maintenance capacity for the Imperial Navy, at least in the short term.

A new shipping line, the Eisenhorn Transport Group, was formed in Y2506 but had not launched any ships by the end of the year. The existing shipping line, Ekimus Limited, had ten ships in service, including five colony ships, one large freighter and four small freighters. Six civilian mining companies were active in Sol with a total of twenty-eight civilian mining complexes. Tax revenue from those colonies was four percent of total Imperial income.

Commander Apollo Dominus, captain of the survey frigate Tempest, was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal in recognition of his surveying efforts. Commander Dominus had discovered two new systems, seven jump points and over a hundred mineral-bearing bodies.

Y2507
The Imperial map of the galaxy had to be redrawn early in Y2507 as the result of a newly discovered connection between Asteroth and Aurelia. Asteroth was seven transits out from Terra, adjacent to Malagant and two jumps past the new Nostramo colony. Aurelia was three jumps from Sol via Sirius and 70 Ophiuchi. Sol had four jumps points, leading to Alpha Centauri, Bernard’s Star, Hesperus and Sirius. The Sirius jump point was by far the furthest out and given the size of the Sirius system due to the A1-V primary, exploration in that area had been limited. Only seven systems had been found beyond the Sol-Sirius jump point and Aurelia was on the edge of that area.

In mid-January, the jump frigate Katana explored a newly discovered jump point in the Eyrie system, five transits from Terra via Bernard’s Star, Regulus, Graildark and Endymion. The star was a G5-V, once known as 82 Eridani but renamed as Prometheus by Imperial cartographers. The solar system included seven planets and seventy-three moons. The first three planets and the sole moon of the third planet were all colony cost 2.00. Prometheus I was a barren, tide-locked world and lacked both air and water. Prometheus II was more promising, with liquid oceans covering a third of the planet, a surface temperature of 26C and a nitrogen – oxygen atmosphere of 0.39 atm. The oxygen content was only 1% but adding sufficient oxygen would make this an ideal habitable world. The planet was smaller than Earth at 9800 km in diameter, making it easier to terraform, and was not tide-locked so had a population capacity of over seven billion.

Prometheus III was an equally good terraforming prospect. The planet was a sub-tropical paradise, with oceans covering almost eighty percent of the surface. The temperature was a couple of degrees above human tolerance and the nitrogen – oxygen atmosphere of 0.64 atm had only 0.04 atm of oxygen, but those issues could be corrected relatively easily. Although the moon of the third planet was barren, without water or atmosphere, it was a small, dense body only 1200 km in diameter, so building an ecosystem from scratch was a viable option. Even the fourth planet was a terraforming candidate. Ice fields covered eighty-seven percent of the surface and the nitrogen – oxygen atmosphere was very close to breathable. There was sufficient pressure of oxygen, but the percentage was thirty-one percent. Only the temperature of -89C was a problem and the task of lowering that would be boosted when the vast ice sheets melted. The system could easily host two ideal habitable worlds and perhaps as many as four, depending on whether the results of the geological survey justified the required effort. Prometheus was a valuable discovery.

Three weeks after Katana transited, the survey frigate Ascension completed her gravitational survey of Eyrie and moved into Prometheus. Both ships were low on fuel and approaching their maximum deployment times. Even so, Commander Ban Galenus of the Ascension, senior to Commander Sicarius Vorax of the Katana by less than three months, decided to conduct a geological survey of the inner worlds of Prometheus before beginning the long journey home.

Ascension was half a billion kilometres from her destination, the innermost planet, when she detected five unknown ships on an intercept course. All five were just under ten thousand tons and appeared to be split between two different classes, designated as Jackal and Scarab. Ascension was a Tempest-E and lightly armed. Her defence turret and her single weapon battery might be sufficient against a smaller opponent or to shoot down a small number of missiles, but would be little use against fifty thousand tons of potentially hostile warships. Katana’s primary function was to provide jump capability for escort-sized warships and survey frigates so her armament of two weapon batteries and a defence turret was unlikely to make a difference. Commander Galenus ordered his helmsman to reverse course and run.

The alien warships pursued at 5657 km/s. Ascension had a maximum speed of 2800 km/s due to her fuel-efficient engines and the jump point, where Katana waited, was one point six billion kilometres away. Galenus tried hailing his pursuers. There was no response. Almost five hours after initial contact, the alien ships moved within a million kilometres. The lack of incoming torpedoes suggested the aliens were either armed with energy weapons or intended to close without firing. The lack of communication strongly suggested the former.

Commander Ban Galenus ordered the void shield activated and waited for the aliens to close. Ascension’s maximum weapon range was 90,000 km. At 02:44 pm on February 14th Y2507, the three Scarab class ships each opened fire at 310,000 km with six large laser weapons, starting the Imperium’s first interstellar war. All eighteen shots missed. Realising that running was futile, Commander Galenus decided to reverse course and attempt to get within weapon range. His crew was well trained and quickly executed the turn. The aliens fired a second volley twenty seconds later at a range of 150,000 kilometres. Ascension was rocked by nine strength-5 hits. Her Void Shields went down and five shots penetrated her armour, knocking out her defence turret, damaging both gravitational survey sensors and destroying twenty percent of her fuel storage. Nineteen crew were killed.

The range fell below 90,000 kilometres and Ascension opened fire. The alien warships were fast and protected by some form of electromagnetic interference that reduced the tracking capability of the MK I Energy Weapon Fire Control system on Ascension. No hits were scored. As soon as Ascension fired, the alien ships reversed course and opened the range. Ten seconds later they fired again. Ascension was struck by thirteen strength-8 hits and exploded. Sixty-three crew escaped to the life pods. Commander Galenus was not among them.

At the Prometheus – Eyrie jump point Commander Sicarius Vorax monitored the action from the bridge of Katana. As soon as the destruction of Ascension was confirmed, he ordered an immediate withdrawal through the jump point. Vorax was well aware that he was leaving sixty-three Imperial crewmen to their fate but a rescue attempt would be extremely unlikely to succeed and his priority was to warn the rest of the Imperium. Katana passed through the Eyrie, Endymion and Graildark systems in ten days, due to smaller mass stars and favourable jump point locations, arriving in Regulus on February 24th. Regulus connected directly to Altair, a cul-de-sac system that held a fleet base with three frigates. More importantly, Regulus connected to Barnard’s Star, which was adjacent to Earth and within the network of stabilised jump points. Imperial scientists had determined that messages could be sent through that network, which allowed Katana to contact the headquarters of the Adeptus Astronomica on Terra. The warning was relayed to the Imperium High Command and to the Emperor.

The news that hostile aliens were present six transits from Earth caused both anticipation and apprehension on Terra. Anticipation because the raison d'être of the Imperial Navy and the Imperial Guard was to locate and destroy the alien threat that had devastated the planet when it was known as Earth. Apprehension because the alien technology was apparently more advanced than that of the Imperial Navy. The speed of the alien ships suggested a generational improvement in propulsion technology. The Imperial Navy was powered by Ion drives. The Imperium’s leading propulsion scientist, Honorius Ravenor, believed the alien drives were probably based on Magneto-plasma technology, which would allow an engine design with 33% more thrust than an equivalent-size Ion Drive.

The laser weapons of the aliens were also a surprise. Imperial energy weapons were either lances, which had higher long-range damage than lasers, or kinetic-based weapon batteries, which had both higher short-range damage than lasers and a secondary defence role against hostile torpedoes that was far superior to an equivalent laser weapon. Defence turrets were also kinetic based and more effective than laser-based turrets. Lasers were rejected by Imperial shipwrights because they were a generic weapon that was outperformed by other weapons in specialised roles. In this case however, the aliens had relatively high tech lasers, probably based on a 25cm calibre and far ultraviolet wavelength, with a long range. The combination of long range and high speed presented a challenge for the Imperial Navy. Imperial ships could not overwhelm the aliens with superior energy-weapon firepower if they could not close the range.

High Admiral Lucien Verus was the commander of the entire Imperial Navy, reporting only to the Emperor, and was ultimately responsible for determining the Imperium’s strategy for dealing with the aliens. In the long-term he knew the Imperium needed weapons that could meet the aliens on equal terms, probably via an improved version of the lance battery or even an Imperial laser weapon. That would be years away. For now, the Imperium would have to fight with the ships it had, probably by using torpedo-armed warships and Starhawk bombers. High Admiral Verus set two short-term objectives; gain more information on the capabilities and strength of the aliens and establish a forward base close to Prometheus, both as a defensive position and as a launching point for an attack on the system.

The first objective was addressed with the immediate dispatch of a small squadron to Prometheus, comprising the Cobra class destroyers Emperor’s Hand and Omnis Arcanum, plus the Falchion class frigate Claymore. The Cobra class was equipped with two torpedo launchers and a large magazine capacity, plus a weapon battery and a defence turret. For this mission, half of their normal torpedo load out was replaced with long-range augur torpedoes, both active and passive, and a small number of geological survey torpedoes. Claymore would provide jump capability. The squadron was ordered to enter Prometheus and split up. Claymore would remain on the jump point to ensure any intelligence was returned to the Imperium. The Cobras would manoeuvre on separate courses, to maximise the chance that at least one ship would avoid detection, and dispatch augur torpedoes to all of the inner planets. Combat was to be avoided if possible. Commander Raim Justinian, captain of the Emperor’s Hand, would be the senior officer.

Cobra class Destroyer      7,500 tons       189 Crew       1,037 BP       TCS 150    TH 600    EM 600
4000 km/s      Armour 3-34       Shields 20-300       HTK 50      Sensors 6/4/0/0      DCR 4      PPV 26.4
Maint Life 2.28 Years     MSP 345    AFR 112%    IFR 1.6%    1YR 90    5YR 1,344    Max Repair 150 MSP
Magazine 303   
Commander    Control Rating 1   BRG   
Intended Deployment Time: 15 months    Morale Check Required   

Ravenor Drive Systems RDS-300 Ion Drive (2)    Power 600    Fuel Use 44.27%    Signature 300    Explosion 10%
Fuel Capacity 400,000 Litres    Range 21.7 billion km (62 days at full power)
Valentinian-Stern VS-20 Void Shield (1)     Recharge Time 300 seconds (0.1 per second)

Dominus-Varnus Defence Systems DV-1 Defence Turret (1x3)    Range 30,000km     TS: 16000 km/s     Power 0-0     RM 30,000 km    ROF 5       
Astaroth Kinetics AK-15 Weapons Battery (1x4)    Range 90,000km     TS: 4,000 km/s     Accuracy Modifier 100%     RM 30,000 km    ROF 15       
MK I Defence Turret Fire Control (1)     Max Range: 64,000 km   TS: 16,000 km/s     84 69 53 38 22 6 0 0 0 0
MK I Energy Weapon Fire Control (1)     Max Range: 256,000 km   TS: 4,000 km/s     96 92 88 84 80 77 73 69 65 61
Trajan-Vandis TV-3 Gas-Cooled Fast Reactor (1)     Total Power Output 3.2    Exp 5%

Torpedo Launcher (2)     Missile Size: 6    Rate of Fire 25
MK I Standard Torpedo (24)    Speed: 20,400 km/s    End: 40.9m     Range: 50m km    WH: 9    Size: 6    TH: 68/40/20
MK I Active Augur Torpedo (10)    Speed: 6,200 km/s    End: 1.3d     Range: 685.4m km    Size: 6    TH: 20/12/6
MK I Passive Augur Torpedo (10)    Speed: 6,200 km/s    End: 1.3d     Range: 686.2m km    Size: 6    TH: 20/12/6
Geological Survey Torpedo (6)    Speed: 4,033 km/s    End: 7.4d     Range: 2,577.5m km    Size: 6    TH: 13/8/4

MK I Frigate Active Augur Array (1)     GPS 4800     Range 51.3m km    Resolution 100
MK I Small Torpedo Detection Array (1)     GPS 4     Range 2.9m km    MCR 310.9k km    Resolution 1
MK I Small Electromagnetic Augur Array (1)     Sensitivity 4     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  15.8m km
MK I Thermal Augur Array (1)     Sensitivity 6     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  19.4m km

The second objective required a suitable location to establish a base. The fleet base on Altair was five transits from Prometheus but was actually forty percent further away than the ships based on Terra. Altair was an A7-IV sub-giant, which meant jump points could form much further away than stars of smaller masses, such as red dwarves. In this case, the Altair – Regulus jump point was almost eight billion kilometres from the star. The fleet base was established to support exploration beyond Altair, but was put in place before the gravitational survey of the system confirmed it was a dead-end. The system was valuable so the frigate squadron at the base would remain to protect it, but the base itself could not be used as a platform for projecting power elsewhere.

The obvious location for a forward base was Endymion, a system four transits from Sol and two from Prometheus. Endymion comprised an M5-V red dwarf star, two planets, nineteen moons and seventeen asteroids. There were two colony class 2.00 bodies in the system. The first, the inner planet, had liquid oceans covering almost half of the surface and a comfortable temperature of 20C. Unfortunately, the 1.09 atm atmosphere was composed of nitrogen, ammonia and methane, with the poisonous gases making up forty percent. Given the planet was larger than Earth, terraforming would be a massive undertaking. Even so, with enough effort sufficient infrastructure could be shipped in to house a population and the Galaxy class ships could provide additional maintenance capacity. The planet did have one major advantage in defensive terms; it was dominated by rift valleys, making a defending ground force hard to dislodge.

The second potential location was a huge asteroid almost two thousand kilometres in diameter, with sufficient mass to bring its gravity within the range of human tolerance. The asteroid was less than four million kilometres from the star, tide-locked and lacking any atmosphere or water. The surface temperature was 197C. Due to the small size, it would be easier to terraform than the inner planet and could support a population of up to fifty million. It also had accessible deposits of five minerals, including six hundred thousand tons of accessibility 0.9 Duranium. After careful consideration, High Admiral Verus decided the asteroid was a better long-term option. While the defensive advantages of Endymion I were appealing, it would be much easier to establish a reasonable size population on the asteroid.

Endymion I Mineral Survey
Duranium:   7,801,250   0.60
Mercassium:   28,015,849   0.10
Uridium:   25,563,136   0.10
Corundium:   3,020,644   0.30
Gallicite:   4,218,916   0.10

Endymion Asteroid #8 Mineral Survey
Duranium:   598,856   0.90
Corbomite:   477,757   0.80
Boronide:   147,456   0.60
Vendarite:   23,593   0.80
Corundium:   619,684   0.70



Verus issued a number of orders. Two of the three Galaxy class support ships were ordered to the asteroid, now renamed as Endymion Base, to provide maintenance capability until permanent facilities could be assigned. Freighters and colony ships were ordered to move infrastructure and workers to the system to man those future facilities. Jump tenders were reassigned as the stabilised network only extended to Regulus, two jumps short of Endymion. As Stargate class jump stabilisation stations became available, they would extend the stabilised network through Graildark to Endymion, but no further. The eight Gaia class terraforming stations in Athena were ordered to half their work and move to Endymion base as the necessary tugs became available. The huge Cetaceus class troop transports Vostroya and Valhalla would move an entire Imperial Guard corps plus supporting forces to secure the surface of the asteroid. Finally, a large task group was created, based around ships armed with torpedoes or carrying Starhawk bombers, and dispatched to the new fleet base.

Battlefleet Prometheus comprised four cruisers, four light cruisers and four frigates. The Dictator class cruisers Fortitude and Rhadamanthine each had a strike group of eight Starhawk class bombers plus a dozen weapon batteries. The Lunar class cruisers Relentless and Retribution were armed with six torpedo launchers, twelve weapon batteries and four lance batteries. The Defiant class light cruisers Archangel and Defiant each carried four Starhawks and were armed with two torpedo launchers and two weapon batteries. The Endurance class light cruisers Ad Liberis and Bellator Stoicus also had a pair of torpedo launchers, supported by four weapon batteries and four lance batteries. The Sword class frigates Sabre and Valiant were equipped with four weapon batteries while the Firestorm class frigates Maelstrom and Vortex were equipped with two weapon batteries and two lance batteries. In total, Battlefleet Prometheus comprised over a quarter of a million tons of warships and attack craft. Although not officially part of the fleet, the Dominator class cruiser Ultima Praetor would accompany Battlefleet Prometheus to Endymion base to provide jump capability outside of the stabilised network. While the battle fleet would be on station in Endymion relatively quickly, it would take some time to build up the necessary facilities to support extended operations.

The reconnaissance squadron transited into Prometheus on March 21st. Claymore held station on the jump point while Emperor’s Hand and Omnis Arcanum set off on courses ninety degrees apart, just inside the orbit of the seventh and outermost planet. All seven planets were targets for augur torpedoes so the destroyers manoeuvred into positions where they could cover as many as possible with a simultaneous launch. Omnis Arcanum moved around one side of the inner system using the large gap between the fourth and seventh planets while the fifth and sixth planets were on the far side of the star. Emperor’s Hand approached from the far side of the inner system, taking advantage of the alignment of the third, fifth and sixth planets to move to a similar distance from each. Eventually, on March 28th, the two ships were position to launch on the six inner planets. Omnis Arcanum would target the seventh as the destroyers retreated. Commander Raim Justinian gave the order and each destroyer opened fire, using a single launcher to cycle through the targets. For each of the six inner planets, the destroyers launched a passive augur torpedo, followed by an active augur torpedo, followed by a geological survey torpedo. The geological survey torpedoes were slower and would arrive many hours after the augur torpedoes, releasing a geosurvey buoy into orbit of each planet. While they would not provide any tactical data, they would give an indication of the value of the system, assuming they were not destroyed by hostile forces.



Nineteen hours after the initial launch, Omnis Arcanum moved close enough to the seventh planet to launch the final set of probes then headed for the jump point. Emperor’s Hand had headed outward from the initial launch point. When Omnis Arcanum made her turn, Emperor’s Hand also set course for the jump point. An hour later. the first augur torpedoes arrived in orbit of planet five, a gas giant with twenty-four moons. There was no sign of an alien presence. Planet three, an excellent terraforming candidate and planet four, a frozen world with a breathable atmosphere, were also apparently deserted. The first contact was at planet six, another gas giant. A dozen 72,000 ton ships, designated as Ankh class, were in orbit of the giant. Commander Raim Justinian could see no reason why warships of such size would be in orbit, so he suspected they were commercial vessels, perhaps fuel harvesters. The torpedoes made it to orbit without any sign of defensive fire, reinforcing Commander Justinian’s theory.

The main concentration of enemy forces was at the second planet, another excellent terraforming prospect, and it was formidable. Six ships of 30,000 tons designated as Reaper class, twelve ships of approximately 20,000 tons split between six different classes and a further six around 10,000 tons, including the five ships of the Scarab and Jackal class ships that attacked Ascension. It was possible that some of the ships were freighters or other commercial vessels, but if so they were much smaller than their Imperial equivalent. The worst case scenario was half a million tons of higher tech, hostile warships.

As the augur torpedoes reached two point seven million kilometres from the planet, the passive torpedo detected the thermal emissions of three small torpedoes approaching from the direction of the planet at 69,400 km/s. Moments later the passive torpedo was destroyed by a strength-1 explosion and contact was lost. After a further thirty seconds the active torpedo was destroyed in a similar explosion. The aliens in Prometheus had apparently developed a small, fast torpedo designed to intercept and destroy other torpedoes, a concept that had never occurred to the scientists of the Imperium as Imperial vessels were well protected against torpedo attack by both defence turrets and weapon batteries. Even so, once data on the new alien weapon was returned home, the concept would no doubt be explored further by Imperial scientists and engineers.



Emperor’s Hand and Omnis Arcanum continued back toward the jump point without any sign of approaching hostile ships. Sixteen hours after the destruction of the augur torpedoes near the second planet, the geological survey torpedo heading for the same destination was intercepted and destroyed. Augur torpedoes entered orbit of the first and seventh planets without further contacts. As geosurvey torpedoes reached the other planets they released their buoys and the surveys began. At planet six, where the twelve 72,000-ton Ankh class ships were located, there was no attack on the geosurvey torpedo or the released buoy.



On April 3rd Y2507, the destroyers arrived at the Prometheus – Eyrie jump point and re-joined Claymore. After waiting for a couple of days to ensure they were not being followed, the squadron moved through the Eyrie system and arrived in Endymion to relay the intelligence gathered in Prometheus. By this point, Battlefleet Prometheus was at Endymion base, although few of the support forces had arrived due to their slower speed. The small recon squadron was ordered to refuel from a newly arrived tanker then return to Prometheus and act as a picket force to warn of any alien activity near the jump point. The jump frigate Spatha was deployed on the Eyrie – Endymion jump point so future messages could be relayed direct from Prometheus. In recognition of their achievements in a dangerous reconnaissance mission, Commander Raim Justinian, captain of the Emperor’s Hand, and Commander Caleb Typhon, captain of the Omnis Arcanum, were awarded the Intelligence Medal of Merit.

Because of the intelligence brought back by Commander Justinian, there would be no early attack by Battlefleet Prometheus. There was also little point in bringing up additional forces without any suitable base facilities. Instead, Endymion Base would be expanded and serve as a defensive position. Once Battlefleet Prometheus had a sufficient support structure and substantial supplies of fuel, maintenance and ordnance, it would begin a series of raids to test the enemy strength and capabilities.

The Aurelia system, site of the recent link up of jump chains originating in Sirius and Barnards’s Star, comprised an M1-V red dwarf star with a single terrestrial world and several comets. The planet was a good terraforming candidate with liquid water covering almost fifty percent of the surface, a nitrogen-oxygen atmosphere of 0.14 atm and a temperature of -18C. In mid-April 2507, an Ordo Mineralis formation completed a ground-based survey of the planet. The vast deposits of Duranium were actually far closer to the surface than the orbital survey had reported, changing their accessibility from 0.1 to 0.9. Hitherto unknown deposits of Sorium and Vendarite was also located. As the planet now had accessible multi-million deposits of Duranium, Neutronium, Corbomite and Corundium and minimal accessibility deposits of every other mineral, its priority as a potential mining site had significantly increased. Once the current concentration of resources on Endymion Base began to ease, the planet, despite its remote location, would become an important Imperial colony.

Aurelia I Survey Report
Duranium:   54,999,072   0.90
Neutronium:   7,241,481   0.70
Corbomite:   32,012,964   1.00
Tritanium:   32,012,964   0.10
Boronide:   685,584   0.10
Mercassium:   933,156   0.10
Vendarite:   28,965,924   0.10
Sorium:   41,177,889   0.10
Uridium:   20,115,225   0.10
Corundium:   13,883,076   0.90
Gallicite:   10,074,276   0.10

The Tempest-J survey frigates Emperor’s Light and Evening Star began a geological survey of Aurelia shortly after the Ordo Mineralis formation completed its task. A new jump point was located one point six billion kilometres from the primary. Emperor’s Light conducted the probe and found an unremarkable red dwarf system with eight planets, which was named Equinox. The third planet had water, a thin nitrogen-oxygen atmosphere and a surface temperature of -64C. The terraforming priority would depend on a geological survey.

Because of the new importance of the systems beyond Sirius, due to the link to another part of the Empire and the mineral deposits on Aurelius I, the newly overhauled and refitted survey frigate Morning Star was dispatched to Proxima, which was directly connected to Sirius, to conduct a gravitational survey. The survey was still underway at the end of the year, with two new jump points located so far. They led to Teegarden’s Star, a red dwarf, and Deimos, a red dwarf binary. Both systems were planetless.

There were four systems in a direct line between Barnard’s Star and Prometheus; Regulus, Graildark, Endymion and Eyrie. The latter two systems had two jumps point each. Regulus had a third jump point leading to the cul-de-sac system of Altair. Graildark also had a third jump point, leading to a planetless white dwarf star known as Solstice, which had never been surveyed. Given the importance of Endymion Base, it was vital to identify any threat that might emerge from Solstice. The survey frigates Sapientius and Tempest were assigned to survey Solstice and any systems beyond. The survey was complete by the end of October, revealing one new jump point. Sapientius transited and discovered a planetless K-class star that was named Calderis. Both frigates began a survey of the new system. As a result of this discovery, Commander Colm Phaeron of Sapientius was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal for discovering ten jump points and twenty-eight mineral-bearing bodies.

The second Overlord class battlecruiser, Sword of Retribution, was launched in October Y2507. Two months later, on December 10th, construction was completed on Pax Imperium, the first Mars class battlecruiser. The Mars had the same energy armament as the Overlord; sixteen weapon batteries, two lance batteries and two defence turrets. The major difference was the removal of the Overlord’s twelve torpedo launchers and a reduction in its passive defences to create space for six thousand tons of hangar space, sufficient for three squadrons of Starhawk bombers, plus additional fuel storage. The twelve Starhawks would be particularly useful in combat against the Prometheus aliens, given the alien speed and range advantages in energy combat. Once sufficient maintenance facilities were in place, Pax Imperium would be dispatched to reinforce Battlefleet Prometheus. A second Mars was laid down.

Mars class Battlecruiser      54,000 tons       1,209 Crew       6,899.8 BP       TCS 1,080    TH 4,320    EM 2,400
4000 km/s      Armour 7-127       Shields 80-300       HTK 294      Sensors 6/8/0/0      DCR 39      PPV 142.64
Maint Life 2.01 Years     MSP 3,134    AFR 594%    IFR 8.3%    1YR 1,036    5YR 15,545    Max Repair 360 MSP
Hangar Deck Capacity 6,000 tons     Magazine 1,440   
Captain    Control Rating 2   BRG   AUX   
Intended Deployment Time: 18 months    Flight Crew Berths 120    Morale Check Required   

Ravenor Drive Systems RDS-720 Ion Drive (6)    Power 4320    Fuel Use 28.58%    Signature 720    Explosion 10%
Fuel Capacity 3,212,000 Litres    Range 37.5 billion km (108 days at full power)
Valentinian-Stern VS-20 Void Shield (4)     Recharge Time 300 seconds (0.3 per second)

Dominus-Varnus Defence Systems DV-2 Defence Turret (2x6)    Range 30,000km     TS: 16000 km/s     Power 0-0     RM 30,000 km    ROF 5       
Astaroth Kinetics AK-15 Weapons Battery (16x4)    Range 90,000km     TS: 4,000 km/s     Accuracy Modifier 100%     RM 30,000 km    ROF 15       
Valentinian Precision Armaments V4-200 Lance Battery (2)    Range 256,000km     TS: 4,000 km/s     Power 10-3     RM 200,000 km    ROF 20       
MK I Defence Turret Fire Control (2)     Max Range: 64,000 km   TS: 16,000 km/s     84 69 53 38 22 6 0 0 0 0
MK I Energy Weapon Fire Control (4)     Max Range: 256,000 km   TS: 4,000 km/s     96 92 88 84 80 77 73 69 65 61
Trajan-Vandis TV-18 Gas-Cooled Fast Reactor (3)     Total Power Output 56.7    Exp 5%

MK I Light Torpedo (576)    Speed: 24,880 km/s    End: 14.2m     Range: 21.2m km    WH: 4    Size: 2.5    TH: 82/49/24

MK I Battlecruiser Active Augur Array (1)     GPS 34560     Range 124.8m km    Resolution 180
MK I Torpedo Detection Array (1)     GPS 16     Range 6.4m km    MCR 695.1k km    Resolution 1
MK I Thermal Augur Array (1)     Sensitivity 6     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  19.4m km
MK I Electromagnetic Augur Array (1)     Sensitivity 8     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  22.4m km

Strike Group
12x Starhawk Bomber   Speed: 7275 km/s    Size: 9.9

In addition to the two battlecruisers, new construction in Y2507 included the Firestorm class frigates Kraken and Medusa, six Thunderhawk class assault transports, ten Starhawk class bombers, a Jericho class colony ship, an Empyrean class jump tender, a Universe class mass conveyor, a Goliath class tug, an Ambrosia class fuel harvesting station, a Gaia class terraforming station and the first O'Neill class Orbital Habitat. The O'Neill was by far the largest construct ever created by the Imperium and provided sufficient living space for a million colonists. While the habitat was intended for deployment in orbit of hostile worlds where infrastructure was not an option, in the short term it would be towed, slowly, to Endymion Base. Refitting of the survey frigates continued with Morning Star and Quaesitor both converted to the Tempest-J design.

O'Neill class Orbital Habitat      2,504,545 tons       164 Crew       1,174.1 BP       TCS 50,091    TH 0    EM 0
1 km/s      No Armour       Shields 0-0     HTK 133      Sensors 6/8/0/0      DCR 1      PPV 0
MSP 0    Max Repair 200 MSP
Habitation Capacity 1,000,000   
Lieutenant Commander    Control Rating 1   BRG   
Intended Deployment Time: 3 months   

MK I Electromagnetic Augur Array (1)     Sensitivity 8     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  22.4m km
MK I Thermal Augur Array (1)     Sensitivity 6     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  19.4m km

At the end of Y2507, Endymion base had a population of two point seven million, supported by infrastructure. Thirty maintenance facilities were in operation, plus a refuelling station and an ordnance transfer station. Three hundred and sixty standard torpedoes and thirteen hundred light torpedoes had been transferred to the base along with a stockpile of thirty-four million tons of fuel and a large quantity of maintenance supplies. Eight Gaia class terraforming stations were on station and had begun to create an ecosystem for the asteroid. The stable jump network had been extended to Graildark, one transit away, and Endymion would be added during Y2508. Even though the base could support 60,000 tons of shipping with its own facilities and a further 80,000 tons with the two Galaxy class ships, there was a quarter of a million tons of warships in orbit and they would be joined by a 54,000-ton battlecruiser. More preparation was needed before the base would be ready.

All of the geological survey drones in Prometheus had reported their findings to the recon squadron on the Eyrie jump point. The results were disappointing. The fifth and seventh planets, both gas giants, each had less than 50,000 tons of medium accessibility Sorium. The third planet had minimal accessibility deposits of three minerals. While the second planet and the various moons had not been surveyed, the results from the buoys suggested the system was not mineral rich.

A new shipping line, the Rachmiel Shipping Group, was formed in Y2507, although it had yet to launch any ships. Ekimus Limited was operating eleven ships and the Eisenhorn Transport Group had its first three ships in service. A seventh civilian mining complex had begun operations in Sol.

The strategic priority for the Imperium was establishing sufficient force at Endymion Base to challenge the aliens in Prometheus, initially via raids and eventually via an all -out assault. Less immediate but no less important was the need to upgrade the capabilities of Imperial warships as the aliens had demonstrated superior technology. Exploration would continue in key areas of known space to ensure no other threat was lurking nearby. In economic terms, manpower was once again the priority. Terra had a worker shortage of almost five million. This would have to be resolved despite the need to concentrate economic efforts on Endymion Base.


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Offline Steve Walmsley (OP)

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Re: Crusade - Updates
« Reply #3 on: August 12, 2019, 11:30:37 AM »
Y2508
On February 4th Y2508, the survey frigate Sapientius transited the first new jump point to be discovered in Calderis. Sapientius and her sister ship Tempest were exploring the only open jump chain leading off the direct route between Barnard’s Star and the alien-controlled Prometheus system. The chain started with Graildark, which connected to Solstice, which in turn connected to Calderis. Sapientius emerged two point three billion kilometres from Gryphonne, a M5-V red dwarf star with four planets, fifty-one moons and almost two hundred asteroids, all of which were within half a billion kilometres of the star. The innermost planet was the most habitable to be discovered so far, with a colony cost of just 0.50. Gryphonne I was a huge world, 20,000 kilometres in diameter with a gravity of 1.62G. The nitrogen – oxygen atmosphere was breathable and ice sheets covered two thirds of the surface, providing plenty of water for potential colonists. While the temperature was a problem at -70C, the planet was tide-locked, creating a semi-habitable zone. Even with most of the planet unsuitable for colonization, the maximum population was close to six billion. A second jump point was explored in May and led to a planetless white dwarf star named Diamat.

A geological survey was carried out in Gryphonne, revealing several worlds with large, accessible deposits. The near-habitable world in the system had over a hundred and fifty million tons of accessibility 0.80 Duranium, plus huge mid-accessibility deposits of Tritanium and Corundium and minimal accessibility deposits of six other minerals. The third moon of the second planet had mid to high accessibility deposits of seven minerals, including Duranium and even one of the asteroids had large, accessible deposits of five minerals. The necessary assets were diverted from the build up at Endymion Base to establish a colony of half a million on Gryphonne I.

Gryphonne I Survey Report – also Low chance for ground survey
Duranium:   158,420,000   0.80
Corbomite:   2,890,000   0.10
Tritanium:   5,760,000   0.60
Mercassium:   10,000   0.10
Vendarite:   47,610,000   0.10
Sorium:   88,360,000   0.10
Uridium:   24,010,000   0.10
Corundium:   57,760,000   0.40
Gallicite:   62,410,000   0.10

Gryphonne II – Moon 3 Survey Report
Duranium:   1,219,922   0.90
Corbomite:   484   0.80
Tritanium:   495,616   0.50
Boronide:   302,500   0.70
Mercassium:   27,225   0.70
Uridium:   980,100   0.60
Gallicite:   1,210,000   0.50

Gryphonne Asteroid #183
Duranium:   368,082   0.90
Corbomite:   271,858   0.70
Boronide:   62,901   0.90
Mercassium:   213,444   1.00
Corundium:   418,350   1.00

Over several years, water vapour had been condensing from the atmosphere of the Centaurus colony and forming lakes and small seas. At the end of Y2508 the planet was very close to an ideal habitable world with the colony cost at 0.05. This allowed the population to grow rapidly, mainly through civilian colony ships, and it had reached sixteen million by the end of the year. As Centaurus had a much higher percentage of the population dedicated to manufacturing than a densely populated world such as Terra, installations could be transferred to the colony, easing the Imperium’s manpower shortage. By December Y2508, fifty-five mining complexes and thirty-five fuel refineries were in operation on Centaurus. Mars had reached a population of twenty-five million and hosted two hundred and twenty financial centres. The relocation of installations transformed the manpower situation on Terra from a shortage to a small surplus of workers.

Warship construction was lower than normal during Y2508 as the Imperium reduced its overall expenditure of wealth and resources and concentrated on improving the economy. The strike cruisers Eternal Defiance and Ravenous Spirit were launched from the Octavian Marine shipyard and the Cobra class destroyer Arbitrator was completed by the Caliban Shipyard. Other new construction included the Tempest-J class survey frigate Ascension Secundus, the Cetaceous class troop transport Tallarn, two Ambrosia class fuel harvester stations, four Gaia class terraforming stations and a Universe class mass conveyor. As a result of the change in focus and the contribution of the civilian sector, which reaches nine percent of income in Y2508, the wealth situation for the Imperium improved significantly, with wealth reserves increasing for the first year since Y2499.

Research into improved weapon and defence systems resulted in the development of a new weapon battery from Astaroth Kinetics and an upgraded Void Shield from Valentinian-Stern. The AK-20 Weapons Battery increased point blank damage output by one third compared to the AK-15 and improved range from ninety to one hundred and sixty thousand kilometres while retaining the same fifteen second recharge time. The installation was three hundred and fifty tons versus three hundred tons for the AK-15 and consumed one third more power. The VS-33 Void Shield Generator was twenty percent larger than the VS-20 deployed on all Imperial warships but had a maximum strength sixty-five percent greater.

Given the significant improvement in capability of both new systems, a series of refits was planned for the Imperial Navy. Priority was given to the most common classes for each hull type, the Lunar class cruiser, the Dauntless class light cruiser and the Sword class frigate, and to the four Vanguard class strike cruisers. The Lunar II class cruiser replaced the twelve AK-15 Weapons Batteries of the original Lunar with ten AK-20 Weapons Batteries. The armour was reduced by twenty percent so that the three VS-20 Void Shield generators could be replaced with five VS-33 Void Shield generators, increasing the total shield strength by one hundred and seventy-five percent. The Dauntless II light cruiser followed similar principles, replacing the eight AK-15s of the original Dauntless with six AK-20s, replacing two VS-20s with three VS-33s and reducing the armour by one sixth. The Sword II and Vanguard II classes were less drastic updates. In each case four AK-15 Weapons Batteries were replaced with three AK-20 Weapons Batteries and the single shield generator with replaced with the improved model. The small amount of hull space freed up by the modification was used for additional fuel storage. Various shipyards began retooling to the new designs. Other classes would be upgraded along similar lines as resources become available.

Lunar II class Cruiser      36,000 tons       983 Crew       5,143.9 BP       TCS 720    TH 2,880    EM 4,950
4000 km/s      Armour 6-97       Shields 165-330       HTK 216      Sensors 6/4/0/0      DCR 24      PPV 166.64
Maint Life 2.01 Years     MSP 2,143    AFR 432%    IFR 6.0%    1YR 709    5YR 10,630    Max Repair 360 MSP
Hangar Deck Capacity 250 tons     Magazine 652   
Captain    Control Rating 2   BRG   AUX   
Intended Deployment Time: 18 months    Flight Crew Berths 20    Morale Check Required   

Ravenor Drive Systems RDS-720 Ion Drive (4)    Power 2880    Fuel Use 28.58%    Signature 720    Explosion 10%
Fuel Capacity 1,355,000 Litres    Range 23.7 billion km (68 days at full power)
Valentinian-Stern VS-33 Void Shield (5)     Recharge Time 330 seconds (0.5 per second)

Dominus-Varnus Defence Systems DV-2 Defence Turret (2x6)    Range 30,000km     TS: 16000 km/s     Power 0-0     RM 30,000 km    ROF 5       
Valentinian Precision Armaments V4-200 Lance Battery (4)    Range 200,000km     TS: 4,000 km/s     Power 10-3     RM 200,000 km    ROF 20       
Astaroth Kinetics AK-20 Weapons Battery (10x4)    Range 160,000km     TS: 4,000 km/s     Power 12-4     RM 40,000 km    ROF 15       
MK I Defence Turret Fire Control (2)     Max Range: 64,000 km   TS: 16,000 km/s     84 69 53 38 22 6 0 0 0 0
MK I Energy Weapon Fire Control (3)     Max Range: 256,000 km   TS: 4,000 km/s     96 92 88 84 80 77 73 69 65 61
Trajan-Vandis TV-18 Gas-Cooled Fast Reactor (2)     Total Power Output 37.8    Exp 5%
Trajan-Vandis TV-16 Gas-Cooled Fast Reactor (1)     Total Power Output 16.7    Exp 5%

Torpedo Launcher (6)     Missile Size: 6    Rate of Fire 25
MK I Torpedo Fire Control (2)     Range 53m km    Resolution 100
MK I Standard Torpedo (108)    Speed: 20,400 km/s    End: 40.9m     Range: 50m km    WH: 9    Size: 6    TH: 68/40/20

MK I Cruiser Active Augur Array (1)     GPS 21600     Range 101.7m km    Resolution 150
MK I Torpedo Detection Array (1)     GPS 16     Range 6.4m km    MCR 695.1k km    Resolution 1
MK I Small Electromagnetic Augur Array (1)     Sensitivity 4     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  15.8m km
MK I Thermal Augur Array (1)     Sensitivity 6     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  19.4m km

Dauntless II class Light Cruiser      18,000 tons       502 Crew       2,678.3 BP       TCS 360    TH 1,440    EM 2,970
4000 km/s      Armour 5-61       Shields 99-330       HTK 115      Sensors 6/8/0/0      DCR 12      PPV 79.32
Maint Life 2.48 Years     MSP 1,115    AFR 216%    IFR 3.0%    1YR 251    5YR 3,760    Max Repair 240 MSP
Hangar Deck Capacity 250 tons     
Commander    Control Rating 2   BRG   AUX   
Intended Deployment Time: 18 months    Flight Crew Berths 20    Morale Check Required   

Ravenor Drive Systems RDS-480 Ion Drive (3)    Power 1440    Fuel Use 35.00%    Signature 480    Explosion 10%
Fuel Capacity 862,000 Litres    Range 24.6 billion km (71 days at full power)
Valentinian-Stern VS-33 Void Shield (3)     Recharge Time 330 seconds (0.3 per second)

Dominus-Varnus Defence Systems DV-2 Defence Turret (1x6)    Range 30,000km     TS: 16000 km/s     Power 0-0     RM 30,000 km    ROF 5       
Valentinian Precision Armaments V4-200 Lance Battery (3)    Range 200,000km     TS: 4,000 km/s     Power 10-3     RM 200,000 km    ROF 20       
Astaroth Kinetics AK-20 Weapons Battery (6x4)    Range 160,000km     TS: 4,000 km/s     Power 12-4     RM 40,000 km    ROF 15       
MK I Defence Turret Fire Control (1)     Max Range: 64,000 km   TS: 16,000 km/s     84 69 53 38 22 6 0 0 0 0
MK I Energy Weapon Fire Control (3)     Max Range: 256,000 km   TS: 4,000 km/s     96 92 88 84 80 77 73 69 65 61
Trajan-Vandis TV-16 Gas-Cooled Fast Reactor (2)     Total Power Output 33.4    Exp 5%

MK I Light Cruiser Active Augur Array (1)     GPS 11520     Range 77.1m km    Resolution 120
MK I Torpedo Detection Array (1)     GPS 16     Range 6.4m km    MCR 695.1k km    Resolution 1
MK I Electromagnetic Augur Array (1)     Sensitivity 8     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  22.4m km
MK I Thermal Augur Array (1)     Sensitivity 6     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  19.4m km

The Tempest-J class survey frigate Ascension Secundus was constructed as a replacement for the survey frigate Ascension that was destroyed by the aliens in Prometheus. She was dispatched to join her sister ship Quaesitor in the Herodor system. Herodor was five transits from Sol, connected to the Valon system that was part of the jump chain leading from Bernard’s Star to Nostramo and eventually to Aurelia. As Valon was adjacent to the colony in Nostramo and two jumps from the Damocles colony, the Herodor system had to be investigated to ensure the safety of those nearby colonies.

The survey found two new jump points. On November 10th, Ascension Secundus transited the inner jump point and arrived five billion kilometres from Procyon, an F5-IV sub giant with a single terrestrial planet and a tiny moon. Procyon I was a mid-sized world, larger than Mars but smaller than Terra, dominated by tundra except for the ice sheets covering twenty percent of the surface. The nitrogen-oxygen atmosphere was close to breathable with oxygen pressure of 0.08 atm. The temperature was -62C and as planet was not tide-locked, that made the colony cost 2.18. The planet was an excellent terraforming candidate. Ascension Secundus set course for the planet to conduct a geological survey. Quaesitor transited a few days later and began a gravitational survey. On 03:44 on November 29th, Ascension Secundus was one hundred and thirteen million kilometres from the planet when she detected four alien ships at the edge of her active sensor range. All four had similar signatures to the alien ships in the Prometheus system, although they appeared to be previously unknown classes. One was just under 20,000 tons and the rest were approximately 10,000 tons. Ascension Secundus immediately reversed course and headed for the jump point.



Twenty minutes later, the survey frigate’s thermal sensors detected fourteen strength-6 thermal signatures at one point four million kilometres, closing at 29,450 km/s. Ascension Secundus was a Tempest-J designed for jump capability and long duration missions. She had minimal armour and no defence turrets or weapons. The situation become even worse when a further two waves of torpedoes appeared on her sensors. The first wave was sufficient. All fourteen torpedoes struck Ascension Secundus with strength-6 warheads and the survey frigate disintegrated. Five billion kilometres away Quaesitor monitored the destruction of her sister ship then ran for the jump point to Herodor. She transited into Valon, which was within the stable jump network, on December 10th and raised the alarm.

The two major concentrations of the Imperial Navy were at Terra, six transits from Procyon, and Endymion Base, which was eight transits away. There were also frigate squadrons based at Altair, Athena, Alpha Centauri, Arcadia and Prospero. The only squadron closer than Terra was at Athena and that was still five transits from Procyon. The first priority for High Admiral Lucien Verus was reconnaissance. He dispatched the Cobra class destroyer Arbitrator, accompanied by the Falchion class frigate Scimitar to provide jump capability, with orders to launch Augur torpedoes at the sole planet in Procyon.

Creating a forward base for a larger fleet was much more difficult. The last two systems before Procyon, Valon and Herodor, were both planetless. Although each had a scattering of comets, they were not suitable sites for maintaining a substantial fleet. The Nostramo colony was three jumps away but ten billion kilometres from the planet in Procyon. One option was to use all three Galaxy class ships to provide a temporary maintenance location in deep space for up to 150,000 tons of warships, although the usefulness of that approach would depend on the size of the enemy fleet. Verus decided to wait for the results of the recon mission before deciding how to deploy his forces.



Two of the three Galaxy class support ships were still at Endymion Base, making up the difference between the maintenance capacity of the base, which was 170,000 tons, and the size of the fleet stationed at the base, which was close to a quarter of a million tons. The asteroid on which the base was located had been the focus of the entire Imperial terraforming fleet and consequently had a breathable atmosphere and sufficient water vapour in that atmosphere to eventually form enough surface water to support an ideal habitable world. That would take some time though and the colony cost was 1.36 at the end of Y2508. The population was nine million, supported mainly by infrastructure but partly due to the arrival of the O’Neill class orbital habitat. The recon squadron picketing the Prometheus – Eyrie jump point had been replaced, so the original ships could return to Terra for overhaul, and so far there had been no activity from the large alien fleet in the system.

The first civilian mining operation outside Terra was Balian Ores, established on the sixteenth moon of Alpha Centauri-A III on December 27th Y2508. The Centaurus Colony was on the seventeenth moon of the same planet. Sol had seven civilian mining colonies with a total of thirty-six mining complexes. The three Imperial shipping lines had twenty-three ships between them.

Y2509
Arbitrator and Scimitar arrived in Procyon on January 7th. Scimitar remained at the jump point to observe while Arbitrator headed in–system to a point where she could launch drones. Twelve days later she launched passive and active augur torpedoes six hundred million kilometres from Procyon I. Nine million kilometres from the planet the active drone detected nine alien ships, split equally between ships of 30,000 tons, 20,000 tons and 10,000 tons. With 180,000 tons in total, this was a significantly smaller force than the one encountered in Prometheus, although none of the ships appeared to be the same ones that had attacked Ascension Secundus. The torpedoes continued toward Procyon I and were destroyed two million kilometres from the planet by the same anti-torpedoes used by the aliens in Prometheus. Once the report of the scouting expedition arrived at Imperial High Command on Terra, High Admiral Verus decided to send a substantial force to launch an attack, relying on forward logistics support from tankers and the Galaxy class support ships. The planned fleet would refuel and resupply in Herodor before moving into Procyon.



As there had been no sign of any alien activity near the Prometheus – Eyrie jump point, Verus decided to send forces from Battlefleet Prometheus at Endymion Base as well as from the fleets in orbit of Terra. Battlefleet Prometheus contained most of the Imperium warships that carried Starhawk bombers and these would be needed against an enemy that had demonstrated superior energy-range firepower. The aliens in Procyon had also demonstrated their possession of torpedoes that were faster than the Imperial equivalents, albeit with smaller warheads.

The Dictator class cruisers Fortitude and Rhadamanthine, each armed with a strike group of eight Starhawk class bombers and a dozen weapon batteries, plus the Defiant class light cruisers Archangel and Defiant, each of which carried four Starhawks and were armed with two torpedo launchers and two weapon batteries, were detached from Battlefleet Prometheus and ordered to rendezvous with the forces from Terra in the Barnards’s Star system, near the Colchis jump point.

The Terra-based forces comprised the Dictator class cruiser Archon Kort, the jump-capable Dominator class cruiser Ultima Praetor, the Lunar class cruisers Imperial Wrath and Iron Duke, the Dauntless class light cruisers Advocate, Aegis, Uziel and Vigilant, the jump capable Endeavour class light cruiser Leonid, the Endurance class light cruisers Endurance and Indomitable Purpose, the strike cruiser Eternal Defiance, the Cobra class destroyers Emperor’s Hand and Omnis Arcanum that carried out the reconnaissance of Prometheus, the Sword class Frigates Mariatus, Order Absolute, Pegasus and Strident Virtue and the Falchion class jump frigate Claymore. The only ship in the Terra-based forces with Starhawks was Archon Kort. The Lunar class cruisers were armed with six torpedo launchers in addition to their energy armament and the Endurance class light cruisers and Cobra class destroyers were each armed with two torpedo launchers. The Dauntless and Sword class ships were energy-armed and would provide defence against hostile torpedo attack, while Eternal Defiance carried three Thunderhawk class assault transports. In total, the fleets from Terra and Endymion would mass approximately 400,000 tons, not including Ultima Praetor which would proceed no further than the Procyon - Herodor jump point.

While the warships gathered, Quaesitor was ordered to investigate the remaining unexplored jump point in Herodor to ensure there was no threat lurking alongside the approach path of the fleet. She discovered Nocturne, a compact red dwarf binary system with nine planets and forty-two moons, none of which was a suitable terraforming candidate. Quaesitor began a geological survey.

In the Gryphonne system, site of the Imperium’s most recent colony, Sapientius discovered two jump points close to each other and moved to investigate. She discovered Hagia and Tigrus, both of which were red dwarves with two unremarkable planets. A third new jump point, located within half a billion kilometres of the primary, led to Davin, a K7-V orange star with four planets. Davin II was a terrestrial world with liquid oceans covering half the surface, a temperature of 42C and a nitrogen – oxygen atmosphere of 0.44 atm. The oxygen content was only 0.01 atm but the planet was a good terraforming candidate.

In Varestus, a brown dwarf binary adjacent to Prospero, the survey frigates Emperor’s Light and Evening Star were continuing their long-standing partnership following a recent overhaul. Emperor’s Light transited an unexplored jump point on the edge of the system and discovered Adrastapol, a trinary system of three red dwarves. One of the four planets was colony cost 2.00 but the thick atmosphere was mostly carbon dioxide, making it very difficult to terraform.

The warships from Terra and Endymion met in Bernard’s Star to form Battlefleet Procyon. The combined force proceeded through Colchis, Arconar and Valon to reach Herodor where they took on fuel from a tanker and a Galaxy class support ship. On April 15th Y2509, they entered Procyon. The Cobra class destroyer Arbitrator joined the fleet as it arrived while the jump frigate Scimitar remained at the jump point with Ultima Praetor. Battlefleet Procyon set course for the planet and the first major engagement of the Imperial Navy.

On May 6th, Battlefleet Procyon moved within augur torpedo range of the planet. Arbitrator launched another pair of torpedoes to ensure nothing had changed. The torpedoes had a speed of 6200 km/s compared to 4000 km/s for the fleet so they moved ahead relatively slowly. With the fleet four hundred and fifty million kilometres from Procyon I and the torpedoes one hundred and forty million kilometres from their target, the active torpedo detected the same four alien ships that had attacked Ascension Secundus.



The senior Imperial officer in Procyon was Captain Gaius Caliban of the Dictator class cruiser Fortitude, an observant but cautious officer who was the most experienced captain in the Imperial Navy. As the enemy ships were detached from the main force he decided to launch a strike against them. They were well out of standard torpedo range, but within range of the thirty-two Starhawk bombers in Battlefleet Procyon. Captain Caliban had no idea of the defensive capabilities of the alien ships, although he was aware they could be equipped with anti-torpedo torpedoes. Therefore, he decided to launch a full strike. He had sufficient munitions for five attacks by each bomber, so taking out these ships would be a reasonable return for twenty percent of his strike craft ordnance. Unfortunately, once the torpedoes moved out of range, contact with the alien ships was lost. The bombers inherent sensors had a range of twenty million kilometres so Captain Caliban ordered them to follow the path of the augur torpedoes and try to reacquire.

A few hours later the augur torpedoes moved into range of Procyon I and confirmed the same nine ships were in orbit. Two of the 30,000 ton ships, designated as Sautekh class, each had active emissions for two different active sensors, one with a significantly lower emission strength than the other. As the passive torpedo moved within four million kilometres, it detected another active sensor from the 10,000 ton Khopesh class with an even lower emission strength. Without more detailed emissions data on the alien sensors, their range and resolution could not be determined. While it was possible the aliens simply had a variety of sensor sizes, it was more likely the aliens were covering a range of different sensor resolutions, which meant they could potentially detect Imperial attack craft before those attack craft were in firing range. There was still no sign of the detached alien squadron, the Starhawks were flying blind and there was a danger they could be ambushed. so Captain Caliban decided to recall the bombers. The augur torpedoes were destroyed two million kilometres from the planet. In their last moments, they detected active sensors with extremely low emission strengths on five of the nine ships, which could indicate they were equipped for anti-torpedo defence.



Arbitrator launched a second pair of augur torpedoes as Battlefleet Procyon continued to close on the planet. Twenty-one hours later they detected thirteen ships in orbit. The detached squadron had returned to Procyon I, probably because of the size of the approaching Imperial fleet. As Arbitrator had no augur torpedoes remaining, Emperor’s Hand launched her only pair of augur torpedoes. The repeated firing of augur torpedoes was not only to check what was in orbit, but also to ensure there was nothing in the direct path of Battlefleet Procyon. For this launch, only eleven hours travel time was required and once again confirmed the same ships in orbit. Omnis Arcanum launched what was likely to be the last pair of augur torpedoes as the Imperial fleet moved within ship-based sensor range of the planet while the torpedoes were en route

Captain Caliban considered launching the Starhawks again for a direct attack on the planet, but decided to bring his ships into range instead. If the aliens did have the capability of detecting and engaging his bombers, he would lose his only long-range strike asset. He dispatched a message via the ships at the jump point, recommending that the Imperium should develop a way to analyse the alien sensor emissions and determine their capability.

As Battlefleet Procyon moved within seventy-five million kilometres of the planet, thermal sensors detected seventy-six fast-moving contacts at one point five million kilometres; a large wave of hostile torpedoes was inbound. Fifteen seconds later, an equally large wave of torpedoes was detected following the first. Captain Caliban ordered the fleet to reverse course in order to increase the time for weapons and shields to recharge between salvos. Every ship prepared to defend itself with defence turrets and weapon batteries. Even the lance batteries were linked to the fire control systems in defensive mode. By the time the first wave reached the fleet, a further two waves had appeared. This was a massive alien assault on Battlefleet Procyon.

The fleet possessed fifteen DV-2 defence turrets and twelve DV-1 defence turrets, with a total of one hundred and twenty-six shots every five seconds, plus one hundred and thirty-two weapon batteries with a total of five hundred and twenty-eight shots every fifteen seconds. The fire control system for the turrets was capable of tracking targets up to 16,000 km/s. The alien torpedoes had a speed of 29,450 km/s, so the chance of each shot from the turrets hitting a missile was a little over fifty percent. That varied by ship depending on the quality of the crew and the commander. The weapon batteries could only track at 4000 km/s and relied on volume of fire, with the base chance of each shot hitting around fourteen percent.

Battlefleet Procyon threw an incredible amount of fire at the first wave of incoming torpedoes and every last one was destroyed short of the fleet. The subsequent torpedo waves met exactly the same fate, melting like snow blown into a furnace. Twenty-three waves, with more than seventeen hundred torpedoes in total, attacked the fleet over a seven-minute period. Not a single torpedo penetrated the Imperial defences. When news of the engagement reached Terra, it would silence those voices calling for the Imperium to adopt the alien anti-torpedo torpedoes. Battlefleet Procyon reversed course again and began closing on the planet. Meritorious Service Medals were awarded to the commanders of ships that destroyed more than one hundred torpedoes each; Captain Gaius Caliban of the Fortitude, Captain Azrael Diomedes of the Rhadamanthine, Commander Tarik Graius of the Imperial Wrath, Commander Ezekiel Alaric of the Vigilant, Commander Alicia Vulkan of the Endurance and Commander Jonah Ardias of the Archangel.

There was no further attack during the following two hours as Captain Caliban brought his fleet within forty-five million kilometres of Procyon I, which was five million kilometres inside maximum Imperial torpedo range. Caliban ordered a single salvo to test the alien defences. Both Lunar class cruisers launched six torpedoes each. The two Defiant class light cruisers, the two Endurance class light cruisers and the three Cobra class destroyers all launched two torpedoes each, creating a total salvo of twenty-six torpedoes. Flight time was approximately thirty-eight minutes. Just over two million kilometres from the planet, twenty torpedoes were destroyed by the alien anti-torpedo torpedoes. Three more were destroyed at one point seven million, a further two at one point three million and the final one at just under million. Based on the pattern of destruction, it seemed the aliens were launching additional anti-torpedoes appropriate to the remaining number of incoming torpedoes, while trying to avoid wasting those anti-torpedoes. In any event, it seemed unlikely that Battlefleet Procyon would be able to penetrate the hostile defences with shipboard torpedo launches.

Captain Caliban decided to close within range of the light torpedoes on the Starhawks, then launch the bombers and keep them within the anti-torpedo defences of the main fleet while they fired. The alien ships appeared to have some form of fire-confusion ECM which reduced torpedo fire control range by approximately ten percent, so the fleet moved within twenty million kilometres. There was still no sign of further hostile torpedo attack. The thirty-two Starhawks each carried a dozen light torpedoes with strength-4 warheads, allowing a total strike wave of three hundred and eighty-four torpedoes. Sufficient light torpedoes were available in the fleet to reload the bombers four times.

The alien anti-torpedoes had been effective against the ship-launched strike but there was no way to know how well they would deal with a large wave, or how resistant to damage the alien ships would be. Thirteen hostile contacts were in orbit of Procyon I; three were 30,000 tons, four were 20,000 tons and the rest were approximately 10,000 tons. Two of the largest ships had powerful active sensor emissions, as did one of the 10,000 ton ships, with less powerful emissions from another of the small ships. For the first strike Captain Caliban decided to concentrate the light torpedo strike on the four 10,000 ton ships without detectable sensor emissions. The lack of emissions meant they were more likely to be anti-torpedo ships and their size made them easier to destroy. The main fleet launched first, sending a wave of slower standard torpedoes that was intended to attack at the same time to make the alien defence more difficult. Three minutes later, the bombers launched. Several bombers suffered weapon maintenance failures on launch, so the actual strike was seven torpedoes less than the optimum.



The ship-launched strike arrived a few hundred thousand kilometres ahead of the bomber torpedoes. Twenty-one of twenty-six were destroyed at two point one million kilometres. Thirty seconds later, three hundred and thirty light torpedoes were hit and destroyed by alien anti-torpedoes, leaving just forty-seven. Further explosions followed and the last Imperial torpedo was destroyed half a million kilometres from the planet. Captain Caliban considered further launches, trying to wear down the alien stockpile of anti-torpedoes. However, the Imperium only had a reserve stockpile of approximately three thousand light torpedoes, so Caliban was reluctant to use the attrition tactic when the size of the alien stockpile was completely unknown.

It was apparent that both sides were capable of withstanding torpedo fire, which left the option of an energy-range engagement. The alien fleet massed around 260,000 tons compared to 440,000 for Battlefleet Procyon, although Imperial Intelligence had surmised that the general level of alien technology was higher than the Imperium, evidenced by their higher speed and the 25cm far ultraviolet laser weapons used against Ascension. The primary weapon of most Imperial warships was the Astaroth Kinetics AK-15 Weapons Battery, with a range of 90,000 kilometres, supported by torpedoes and the Valentinian Precision Armaments V4-200 Lance Battery with a range of 200,000 kilometres. The alien laser weapon had a range of at least 310,000 kilometres so the Imperial ships would have to endure fire on the approach without the ability to respond. In fact, if the aliens decided to move away from the planet, the Imperial ships would not be able to close the range at all.

The Imperial Navy weapon batteries had a secondary role of defending against torpedoes, so if the aliens chose to launch further torpedoes in a close-range engagement, the Imperial ships would have to divert their fire against those torpedoes. Conversely, the aliens appeared to have ships armed with anti-torpedoes so would not need to divert energy weapon fire against any Imperial torpedoes, although carrying such weapons would reduce the hull space available to devote to energy weapons. Finally, the great unknown was whether the aliens had substantial ground forces that might include surface-to-orbit weapons. Battlefleet Procyon would only find out the strength of those potential STO weapons when they were already in range. The reluctance of the alien fleet to leave orbit to engage was another sign that the planet might have substantial defences. Given his cautious nature, it came as no surprise to his crews that Captain Gaius Caliban decided not to risk a third of the Imperial Navy in an energy-range engagement with a higher tech alien force without far more information on what he was likely to face. Refits were already underway to improve both the shielding and weapon batteries of Imperial warships so Captain Caliban decided to withdraw his ships from Procyon for the moment and return when the odds were more favourable.

Battlefleet Procyon headed back to the jump point without interference from the aliens and transited into Herodor, where it refuelled from a pair of waiting tankers. The jump frigate Scimitar remained at the Procyon – Herodor jump point as a picket. There were no maintenance facilities available except a single Galaxy class in Herodor and two more en route but still four jumps away in Barnard’s Star. As Nostramo, the closest Imperial colony, was three jumps from Procyon and Scimitar would provide a warning of any alien, High Admiral Verus decided to pull the bulk of the fleet back to Terra. At Barnard’s Star, the Dictator class cruisers Fortitude and Rhadamanthine and the Defiant class light cruisers Archangel and Defiant were detached from Battlefleet Procyon and sent to re-join Battlefleet Prometheus at Endymion Base. As soon as was practicable, a fleet base would be established at Nostramo to provide a base for future operations. It was not ideal, as it was still ten billion kilometres from the Nostramo colony to Procyon I, but it was closer than Terra and guarded the systems beyond Nostramo, including the adjacent Malagant system which had great potential for asteroid mining.

As part of the improvement to Imperial Navy capabilities, the Firestorm class frigate design was upgraded to the new Firestorm II. The VS-20 Void Shield was upgraded to the new VS-33 and the two AK-15 weapon batteries were replaced with AK-20s. As recent operations had highlighted that some Imperial designs were low on endurance, the fuel storage was expanded, increasing range from eighteen to twenty-four million kilometres. All of the new capabilities required additional internal space, so one of the DV-1 defence turrets was removed.

Firestorm II class Frigate      7,500 tons       223 Crew       1,151 BP       TCS 150    TH 600    EM 990
4000 km/s      Armour 3-34       Shields 33-330       HTK 55      Sensors 6/8/0/0      DCR 4      PPV 36.4
Maint Life 2.47 Years     MSP 383    AFR 112%    IFR 1.6%    1YR 87    5YR 1,300    Max Repair 150 MSP
Commander    Control Rating 1   BRG   
Intended Deployment Time: 15 months    Morale Check Required   

Ravenor Drive Systems RDS-300 Ion Drive (2)    Power 600    Fuel Use 44.27%    Signature 300    Explosion 10%
Fuel Capacity 450,000 Litres    Range 24.4 billion km (70 days at full power)
Valentinian-Stern VS-33 Void Shield (1)     Recharge Time 330 seconds (0.1 per second)

Dominus-Varnus Defence Systems DV-1 Defence Turret (1x3)    Range 30,000km     TS: 16000 km/s     Power 0-0     RM 30,000 km    ROF 5       
Astaroth Kinetics AK-20 Weapons Battery (2x4)    Range 160,000km     TS: 4,000 km/s     Power 12-4     RM 40,000 km    ROF 15       
Valentinian Precision Armaments V4-200 Lance Battery (2)    Range 200,000km     TS: 4,000 km/s     Power 10-3     RM 200,000 km    ROF 20       
MK I Defence Turret Fire Control (1)     Max Range: 64,000 km   TS: 16,000 km/s     84 69 53 38 22 6 0 0 0 0
MK I Energy Weapon Fire Control (2)     Max Range: 256,000 km   TS: 4,000 km/s     96 92 88 84 80 77 73 69 65 61
Trajan-Vandis TV-6 Gas-Cooled Fast Reactor (2)     Total Power Output 13.4    Exp 5%

MK I Frigate Active Augur Array (1)     GPS 4800     Range 51.3m km    Resolution 100
MK I Small Torpedo Detection Array (1)     GPS 4     Range 2.9m km    MCR 310.9k km    Resolution 1
MK I Thermal Augur Array (1)     Sensitivity 6     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  19.4m km
MK I Electromagnetic Augur Array (1)     Sensitivity 8     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  22.4m km

The survey frigates, all but one of which were now refitted to the Tempest-J variant, continued to expand the boundaries of the Imperium. Morning Star discovered Arkhona, an unremarkable red dwarf system three transits out from Sirius via Proxima and Deimos. In Adrastapol, a recently discovered system two transits out from Prospero, Emperor’s Light and Evening Star probed two new jump points and found the systems of Epsilon Eridani and WX Ursae Majoris. The latter was an unremarkable red dwarf binary. Epsilon Eridani had an orange K2-V primary with eleven planets, including three colony cost 2.00 terrestrial worlds. The most promising was Epsilon Eridani III with liquid oceans, acceptable gravity, a temperature of 1C and a nitrogen-methane atmosphere of 0.35 atm. Removing 0.06 atm of methane and adding oxygen would make this an ideal habitable world.

In Magnus, a system adjacent to Prospero, Covenant located two new jump points that led to Eta Cassiopeiae and Mordian. The former had a G-class primary slightly larger than Sol with five planets, plus a planetless K7-V companion. One planet and a large moon that were colony cost 2.00 but neither had atmosphere or sufficient water. Mordian was a red dwarf binary with fifteen planets, more than eighty moons and almost three hundred asteroids. The system had three colony cost 2.00 terrestrial worlds, all with water but only minimal atmospheres.

A new colony of one million was established on Aurelia I, the sole planet of an M1-V red dwarf star. The planet was a good terraforming candidate with liquid water covering fifty percent of the surface, a nitrogen-oxygen atmosphere of 0.14 atm and a temperature of -18C. More importantly, given diminishing mineral deposits on Terra, the planet had vast quantities of all eleven minerals, including fifty-five million tons of accessibility 0.9 Duranium and accessible deposits of Neutronium, Corbomite and Corundium. The system was three transits from Sol via Sirius and 70 Ophiuchi and the total distance was fourteen billion kilometres. A civilian mining colony was established by the Thule Resources Corporation in the Endymion system.

Aurelia I Survey Report
Duranium:   54,999,072   0.90
Neutronium:   7,241,481   0.70
Corbomite:   32,012,964   1.00
Tritanium:   32,012,964   0.10
Boronide:   685,584   0.10
Mercassium:   933,156   0.10
Vendarite:   28,965,924   0.10
Uridium:   20,115,225   0.10
Sorium:   41,177,889   0.10
Corundium:   13,883,076   0.90
Gallicite:   10,074,276   0.10

The seventeenth moon of Alpha Centauri-A III, home to the Centaurus colony, became an ideal habitable world in Y2509. The population increased rapidly due to both Imperial and civilian colony ships and reached twenty-two million by the end of the year. The Amon Shipyard, which had a single slipway with a capacity of 130,000 tons, was towed to the Centaurus Colony to ease manpower requirements on Terra. The shipyard was selected because it was tooled to build fuel harvesters and Alpha Centauri-B II was the location of the Imperium’s fuel harvester fleet.

With so much exploration taking place in the systems around Prospero, the fleet base at the Prospero colony was upgraded to handle 70,000 tons of shipping and the stockpiles of fuel and maintenance supplies were increased. The local frigate squadron was reinforced by the arrival of the Dauntless II class light cruisers Bellerophon and Bloodhawk.

New warship construction in Y2509 was limited to the Mars class battlecruiser Resolute, as the shipyards were mainly engaged in the refit program to upgrade the offensive and defensive capabilities of the Imperial Navy. Construction of support vessels included two Universe class Mass Conveyors, a Jericho class colony ship and two Gaia class terraforming stations. The list of ships completing refits in Y2509 is shown below.

Overlord II class Battlecruiser: Overlord
Lunar II class Cruiser: Indomitus Imperious, Justicar
Vanguard II class Strike Cruiser: Dread Argent, Eternal Defiance, Ravenous Spirit, Vae Victus
Dauntless II class Light Cruiser: Advocate, Bellerophon, Bloodhawk, Dauntless, Divine Crusade
Endeavour II class Light Cruiser: Endeavour, Leonid
Endurance II class Light Cruiser: Endurance
Firestorm II class Frigate: Kraken, Thunder
Sword II class Frigate: Drusus, Heroic Endeavour, Rapier

The manpower shortages and financial concerns that had plagued the Imperium in previous years were mainly absent in Y2509. Population growth and the movement of financial centres, maintenance facilities and the Amon shipyard to other colonies resulted in a worker surplus on Terra of almost ten million. Mineral supplies were still a great concern with Duranium stockpiles on Terra dropping below five hundred tons. Vendarite deposits on Terra were exhausted and the accessibility of seven other minerals was falling. In future, colonies such as Centaurus, Aurelia, Gryphonne and Altair III would have to become the new sources of raw material for the Imperium. An automated mining colony was established on a moon in the Phaeton system, two transits out past Athena, with fifteen automated mines in place by the end of the year. While the size of the deposits was smaller than those at the populated colonies, there were deposits of eight minerals at mid to high accessibilities.

Phaeton-A III - Moon 3 Survey Report
Duranium:   627,134   0.80
Neutronium:   115,534   0.80
Corbomite:   864,842   0.70
Tritanium:   78,334   0.80
Boronide:   108,851   0.60
Sorium:   193,526   0.90
Uridium:   96,026   0.90
Corundium:   722,418   1.00

While solving economic problems was a high priority, the Emperor declared that the primary objective for the Imperium was to eliminate the alien threat. While he did not directly criticise Captain Caliban for the decision to withdraw from Procyon, he did orders his admirals to secure Procyon and Prometheus as soon as the current round of refits was completed, using whatever force was necessary.




 
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Offline Steve Walmsley (OP)

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Re: Crusade - Updates
« Reply #4 on: August 24, 2019, 04:09:57 PM »
There was a bug in C# Aurora that allowed unlimited AMM launches, which is fixed from this point onward. The bug allowed the aliens in Procyon to destroy the large wave of light torpedoes much more quickly than they should have, although it didn't change anything beyond the story narrative as they had sufficient firepower to destroy it in the normal (slower) way. I am just highlighting this here to explain any apparent inconsistency in the narrative.

Y2510
Exploration continued throughout Y2510. A probe of the fourth and final unexplored jump point in the Magnus system, adjacent to Prospero, led to Kodiak, a planetless brown dwarf system. In Nocturne, close to the alien-occupied Procyon system, a gravitational survey resulted in the discovery of Vardan, a planetless red dwarf binary, and Anubis, a red dwarf with eight planets. The innermost planet of Anubis was colony cost 2.00 with sufficient water, a temperature of -14C and a nitrogen-oxygen atmosphere of 0.16 atm; a reasonable terraforming prospect.

The survey frigate Morning Star explored two jump points in Arkhona, a recently discovered system three jumps out from Sirius along the Proxima chain. Maeleum was an unremarkable red dwarf system, although it did contain several useful mineral deposits, while Belatis was a red dwarf with two planets. Belatis II had ice sheets, a nitrogen-oxygen atmosphere of 0.86 atm with 0.03 oxygen and a surface temperature of -40C; another reasonable terraforming candidate. Morning Star was short on fuel and long on deployment time so she headed for home. The two new systems were the only remaining avenues of exploration in the Proxima chain and were twenty-five and twenty-two billion kilometres from Terra respectively. With so many nearer systems to explore, it was unlikely the Imperial Navy would return to the area in the foreseeable future.

The gravitational survey of Davin, a system one jump beyond Gryphonne, was completed in early April Y2510, revealing an unprecedented ten jump points, including the entry point from Gryphonne. Most systems had two or three jumps point and a few systems had four, which was the maximum discovered until the survey of Davin, or were cul-de-sacs with a single jump point. Such a jump point nexus could potentially create a new economic centre of gravity for the Imperium, but could equally open up multiple threats simultaneously. High Admiral Verus declared that a new fleet base would be created at the existing colony in Gryphonne before any exploration of the Davin jump points. With a requirement for a new base in Nostramo to guard against the aliens in Procyon, the expansion of the fleet base at Prospero and the existing large base in Endymion, the Imperial Navy was faced with several competing demands for the first time in its history.

Nevertheless, by the end of Y2510 the Gryphonne colony had grown to a population of five point five million. Thirty-five maintenance facilities and a refuelling station were in place and a Galaxy class support ship was in orbit, giving the colony a maintenance capacity of 120,000 tons. Battlefleet Gryphonne, based at the colony, comprised the Lunar II class cruiser Imperial Wrath, the Dauntless II class light cruisers Advocate and Cerberus, the Sword II class frigate Order Absolute, the Firestorm II class frigate Cape Wrath and the Cobra II class destroyer Arbitrator. The survey frigate Sapientius was also at the planet, undergoing an overhaul.

The Centaurus Colony continued to expand. A spaceport was constructed at Terra and transported to Alpha Centauri, allowing the transfer of the existing refuelling station to Gryphonne. The spaceport would also allow the colony to build space stations once construction factories were in place. The Amon Shipyard, which was towed to the colony in Y2509, built an Ambrosia class fuel harvester in September Y2510; the first ship to be constructed outside the Sol system. At the end of the year, the colony population was twenty-five million.

Due to the increasing size of the Empire, the Universe class mass conveyors and Jericho class colony ships could no longer complete a return trip to the outermost colonies without refuelling. During Y2509 and Y2510 all twelve Universe class ships were taken into the Ixion Steel shipyard to have their fuel storage doubled. This refit only required a few days and was done when the ships were at Terra as part of their normal operations. The Jericho class ship would undergo a similar process in Y2511 once the single slipway of the Horst Marine shipyard become available.

Many more warships completed refits during Y2510. By the end of the year, all four battlecruisers, all six Lunar class cruisers and all light cruisers of the Dauntless, Endeavour and Endurance classes, bar a single ship, had been refitted with upgraded technology. Refits on nine of the twelve Sword class frigates and eight of the twelve Firestorm class frigates were complete, with the remaining ships at Terra waiting to undergo their own refits.

Falchion class frigates and Cobra class destroyers both began refit programs in Y2510. The Cobra refit was straightforward, replacing the weapon battery and shield generator with the newer versions in exchange for a small reduction in magazine space. The Falchion update was more extensive. The shield generator and both weapon batteries were upgraded, thermal and EM sensors were added and the fuel storage increased. To create space for the changes, the DV-1 defence turret and associated fire control were removed. Although this reduced the active defence capabilities of the Falchion, the overall design was far more capable.

Falchion II class Jump Frigate      7,500 tons       213 Crew       980.9 BP       TCS 150    TH 600    EM 990
4000 km/s    JR 3-50      Armour 2-34       Shields 33-330       HTK 48      Sensors 6/8/0/0      DCR 4      PPV 14
Maint Life 2.39 Years     MSP 367    AFR 100%    IFR 1.4%    1YR 88    5YR 1,325    Max Repair 150 MSP
Commander    Control Rating 1   BRG   
Intended Deployment Time: 15 months    Morale Check Required   

Ravenor Drive Systems RM-75 Military Jump Drive    Max Ship Size 7500 tons    Distance 50k km   Squadron Size 3

Ravenor Drive Systems RDS-300 Ion Drive (2)    Power 600    Fuel Use 44.27%    Signature 300    Explosion 10%
Fuel Capacity 538,000 Litres    Range 29.2 billion km (84 days at full power)
Valentinian-Stern VS-33 Void Shield (1)     Recharge Time 330 seconds (0.1 per second)

Astaroth Kinetics AK-20 Weapons Battery (2x4)    Range 160,000km     TS: 4,000 km/s     Power 12-4     RM 40,000 km    ROF 15       
MK I Energy Weapon Fire Control (1)     Max Range: 256,000 km   TS: 4,000 km/s     96 92 88 84 80 77 73 69 65 61
Trajan-Vandis TV-8 Gas-Cooled Fast Reactor (1)     Total Power Output 8.3    Exp 5%

MK I Frigate Active Augur Array (1)     GPS 4800     Range 51.3m km    Resolution 100
MK I Small Torpedo Detection Array (1)     GPS 4     Range 2.9m km    MCR 310.9k km    Resolution 1
MK I Thermal Augur Array (1)     Sensitivity 6     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  19.4m km
MK I Electromagnetic Augur Array (1)     Sensitivity 8     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  22.4m km

The Dictator class cruisers and Defiant class light cruisers, both of which carried Starhawk bombers, and the jump-capable Dominator class cruisers had no planned refits as yet. Their original shipyards had been repurposed so they would have to wait until suitable shipyards became available. The list of ships that completed refits in Y2510 is shown below:

Y2510 Refits
Overlord II class Battlecruiser: Sword of Retribution
Mars class Battlecruiser: Pax Imperium, Resolute
Lunar II class Cruiser: Imperial Wrath, Iron Duke, Relentless, Retribution
Dauntless II class Light Cruiser: Aegis, Cerberus, Guardian, Hammer of Truth, Uziel, Vengeful Martyr
Endeavour II class Light Cruiser: Sanctis Legate, Sword of Voss
Endurance II class Light Cruiser: Ad Liberis, Indomitable Purpose, Bellator Stoicus
Firestorm II class Frigate: Cape Wrath, Harrower, Just Persecution, Maelstrom, Medusa, Reaver’s Dismay
Sword II class Frigate: Excalibur, Final Silence, Mariatus, Order Absolute, Pegasus, Sabre
Falchion II class Jump Frigate: Claymore
Cobra II class Destroyer: Arbitrator

New construction in Y2510 included the Tempest-J class survey frigate Ascension Tertius, the third survey frigate to bear the Ascension name. Her crew hoped this would be third time lucky. In addition to the Ambrosia fuel harvesting station built at the Centaurus colony, economic-related construction comprised a Universe class mass conveyor, the fourth Galaxy class support ship, a Gaia class terraforming station and the first Solomon class orbital mining station.

Solomon class Orbital Mining Platform    127,590 tons       1,264 Crew       3,420.3 BP       TCS 2,552    TH 0    EM 0
1 km/s      No Armour       Shields 0-0     HTK 165      Sensors 6/8/0/0      DCR 1      PPV 0
MSP 16    Max Repair 120 MSP
Lieutenant Commander    Control Rating 1   BRG   
Intended Deployment Time: 3 months   
Orbital Miner: 25 modules producing 350 tons per mineral per annum

MK I Electromagnetic Augur Array (1)     Sensitivity 8     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  22.4m km
MK I Thermal Augur Array (1)     Sensitivity 6     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  19.4m km

Offensive action against the aliens in Procyon and Prometheus was further delayed due to the refit program and the need to establish forces in strategic locations such as Gryphonne and Prospero. With the refits of the major warship classes almost complete, High Admiral Verus had to act soon or suffer the displeasure of the Emperor.

Y2511
A large number of jump points were explored in the early months of Y2511. Emperor’s Light transited the single jump point found by the survey of Lalande, two jumps out from Prospero, and discovered Verghast, a red dwarf system with ten planets, seventy moons and one hundred and fifty asteroids, none of which were terraforming candidates. In mid-February, Tempest and Ascension Tertius completed a survey of Golgotha, a system four jumps from Terra via Hesperus, Arcadia and AD Leonis that was originally discovered in Y2501 and had been left alone for ten years. Two new jump points were identified. Tempest transited the first, arriving six hundred million kilometres from Ardium, a planetless red dwarf. Ascension Tertius transited the other and discovered Cypra Mundi, an M2-V red dwarf star with nine planets. The inner planet was a colony cost 2.00 terrestrial world with a nitrogen-oxygen atmosphere of 0.25, including 0.08 atm of oxygen. With a temperature of 50C and small seas covering fifteen percent of the surface, Cypra Mundi I was a very good terraforming candidate.

The bulk of the new jump points were in Davin, one jump beyond Gryphonne. The survey ship Sapientius and a squadron of three frigates and a destroyer moved into Davin to investigate the system’s nine unexplored jump points. A cruiser and two light cruisers remained in reserve at Gryphonne Colony in case any hostile forces were discovered during the mass exploration. Eight of the jump points led to new systems. The transit of the ninth revealed a previously dormant jump point in the Endymion system, home to the largest fleet base outside the Sol system. The new link brought Davin and Gryphonne several billion kilometres Closer to Sol as the route to both systems via Endymion was shorter than the current jump chain to Gryphonne. The other eight jump points led to the following systems:

1)   Gehenna. A yellow-white F8 star with four planets, all of which had Venusian atmospheres.
2)   Cyclopia. A white dwarf star with a single planet surrounded by a dense ring of two hundred and thirty-five asteroids.
3)   Glavia. A red dwarf with a single planet orbiting a million km from the star.
4)   Enkidu. An orange K7-V primary with three planets. Planet III was a gas giant with six moons, including one larger than Mars with eighty percent ice coverage and a nitrogen-oxygen atmosphere that was close to breathable. The colony cost was 4.29 due to the surface temperature of -113C.
5)   Gereon: A planetless brown dwarf
6)   Praetoria: A red dwarf with two terrestrial planets. The outer was colony cost 2.00 with ninety percent ice sheet coverage and a thin nitrogen-oxygen atmosphere.
7)   Antax. A planetless white dwarf with a small, but widely scattered asteroid belt.
8)   Lorentian. A red dwarf with nine unremarkable planets

On April 4th, the terraforming operation at the Athena colony reached an important milestone; the atmosphere of Athena II became breathable, immediately reducing the colony cost from 2.00 to 0.21. Some infrastructure was still required due to the surface temperature of -35C. The planet was 16,000 kilometres in diameter, which meant that the terraforming had required considerable effort. A few Gaia class stations remained in orbit to continue the task of lowering the temperature. The rest were towed to Aurelia and Taranis, two colonies that had been identified as key mining locations. Taranis Colony, in a system adjacent to Alpha Centauri, only had four deposits, none of which were above accessibility 0.7. However, it was the only substantial accessible Gallicite deposit in the Imperium that was suitable for manned mining complexes.

Taranis Colony Survey Report
Duranium:   991,136   0.70
Neutronium:   278,743   0.30
Boronide:   20,654   0.60
Gallicite:   1,048,480   0.70

On June 3rd Y2511, the Imperial Navy began its second operation to strike at Procyon. A Stargate class stabilisation station had been deployed at the jump point from Herodor to Procyon during the previous year and had stabilised both sides, allowing any size of ship to transit with the need of a jump drive. As during the previous operation, the Dictator class cruisers Rhadamanthine and Fortitude and the Defiant class light cruisers Archangel and Defiant, along with their embarked strike groups totalling twenty-four Starhawk bombers, were detached from Battlefleet Prometheus. The force detached from Terra was larger and more capable than before, comprising both Mars II class battlecruisers, Pax Imperium and Resolute, the Dictator class cruiser Archon Kort, three Lunar II class cruisers, four Dauntless II class light cruisers, two Endurance II class light cruisers, two strike cruisers, four Sword II class frigates, four Firestorm II class frigates, two Cobra II class destroyers and thirty-two Starhawks, totalling almost half a million tons. The two forces met in Bernard’s Star and travelled to the Herodor system, where they refuelled from waiting tankers. On July 10th, the reformed Battlefleet Procyon, once more under the command of Captain Gaius Caliban, transited into Procyon and set course for the planet.

Before the operation began, Imperial Intelligence analysts had reviewed what was known about the mysterious aliens in Prometheus and Procyon. Beside the concerns over technology, there were two questions concerning the alien behaviour that had yet to be answered. Firstly, why where they defending two planets that were both apparently uninhabited? Both worlds were excellent terraforming candidates, yet augur torpedoes had moved within a couple of million kilometres of each without detecting any sign of inhabitants. Secondly, why were the aliens remaining in the two systems without any attempt to probe or even approach the jump points? Imperial forces coming under attack would attempt to determine the origin of the attackers, but the aliens were content to sit on the tactical and strategic defensive. The only answer the intelligence analysts could propose was that there was something valuable but hard to detect on the surface and the mission of the alien fleets was to defend whatever that something was to the exclusion of all other objectives. With that in mind, Captain Caliban was ordered to secure the surface without extensive bombardment. Troops would be allocated if hostile ground forces were detected.

Meanwhile, the survey frigate Sapientius was approaching the two planets of Praetoria, one of the ten systems connected to Davin. Half a billion kilometres from her destination, she detected a single ship of the Prometheus aliens moving at 8485 km/s. It was a previously unseen class of 10,000 tons and was designated as Mephrit 01. Sapientius reversed course and headed for the jump point. The Mephrit class ship also reversed course and disappeared from sensors. Ten hours after losing contact, Sapientius detected seven inbound torpedoes on her thermal sensors. Further waves were detected behind the first and a total of five were on sensors when the first wave caught the fleeing survey ship. Both of the survey frigate’s engines exploded when damaged, leaving very little wreckage. There were no other Imperium ships in the system, so the loss of Sapientius went unnoticed.



In Procyon, the fleet moved within six hundred million kilometres of the planet. Emperor’s Hand launched a pair of augur torpedoes to update intelligence on the disposition of enemy forces. Once in range, they revealed the same thirteen warships that were in orbit during the previous operation. Both augur torpedoes were destroyed by the alien anti-torpedoes. Battlefleet Procyon continued to close, prepared to withstand a torpedo attack. Nothing appeared on sensors and Captain Caliban began to wonder if the aliens had exhausted their entire stockpile of torpedoes in the last attack on the Imperial Navy. On July 25th, the fleet moved within its own torpedo range. Caliban saw no point in a small scale attack so he held fire and the fleet continued on course.

At sixteen million kilometres, Battlefleet Procyon halted and launched all fifty-six Starhawk bombers. During the previous operation, the fleet had only thirty-two Starhawks so this would be a much larger attack than before, creating a wave of six hundred and seventy-two light torpedoes. Before attempting an energy-range engagement, Captain Caliban wanted to see if he could penetrate the alien anti-torpedo defences. The targets were the three 30,000 ton Sautekh class ships. Nine torpedoes failed to launch due to maintenance problems with their launchers. The new Starhawk II design, the first of which was yet to be built, had better engineering systems to counter such failures in future.

The first interception by anti-torpedoes was at two million kilometres, destroying twenty-six light torpedoes. Every few seconds, more of the Imperial torpedoes were hit, creating a trail of fire as they closed on the alien ships in orbit of Procyon I. Three hundred and fourteen torpedoes were hit by anti-torpedoes and a further one hundred and fifty-seven were destroyed by point-blank defensive fire from alien energy weapons. One hundred and seventeen missed due to evasion by the targets. Seventy-five light torpedoes, with strength-4 warheads, struck the three Sautekh class ships. There was no sign of atmosphere loss.

As the torpedoes made their final attack run, Imperial sensors monitored which alien ships used point defence and the effectiveness of that fire. The 10,000-ton Jackal class was armed with three turrets similar to the DV-2 defence turret of Imperial capital ships, except each turret had eight shots compared to six for the Imperium. The overall hit rate for the point defence fire of the two Jackal class ships was 56%. The single 20,000-ton Shroud class had eighteen defence turrets, for one hundred and forty-four defensive shots in total and an intercept rate of 67%. Given that so much of the Shroud was dedicated to defensive turrets, it was most likely an orbital base without motive power. The Jackals were designed as escorts by Imperial Intelligence, while the Shroud was designated as an orbital defence platform. The Jackal and Shroud class ships were both equipped with the same active sensor, known only as ‘Alien Sensor #9’, so this was assumed to be a torpedo-detection sensor. Thirty-three torpedoes were destroyed by an unknown source, either small ships that remained undetected or surface-to-orbit weapons on the surface of Procyon I.

With no urgency to proceed directly to the planet, Captain Caliban recovered the Starhawks. Ninety minutes later, all the Starhawks were re-armed, refuelled and the damaged launchers were repaired. There was no sign of any activity from the alien fleet. If those ships with unknown armament were armed with energy weapons, they did not want to leave the safety of the planetary anti-torpedo defences. If they were torpedo armed, they were either out of torpedoes or did not believe a launch could penetrate Battlefleet Procyon’s own defences. The second strike, launched from within the protective point defence umbrella of the main fleet, targeted half the torpedoes on the Shroud class ship and a quarter on each of the two Jackals. Captain Caliban wanted to knock out the close-range point defences so that subsequent waves would be more effective. He considered moving Battlefleet Procyon within seven hundred thousand kilometres of the planet in an effort to determine which alien ships were launching the anti-torpedoes and to reduce the alien interception time, but his natural caution overrode any momentary thoughts of aggressive tactics. For the moment, he would concentrate on trying to reduce the defences of the alien force.

Thirteen launchers malfunctioned, so the attack wave totalled six hundred and fifty-nine light torpedoes. This time the bombers re-allocated the remaining thirteen torpedoes to functioning launchers and sent a small second torpedo wave in the wake of the first. Three hundred and eight torpedoes were struck by anti-torpedoes and one hundred and eighty-one were destroyed by point-blank fire. One hundred and thirty reached their targets. The Shroud class orbital defence platform was blown to pieces by the strike, significantly degrading the alien defence capability. The two Jackal class ships were hit by twenty and twenty-one torpedoes respectively. Lieutenant Commander Augustus Eisenstein commanded the Starhawk bomber that delivered the fatal torpedo to the Shroud and would be suitably recognised with the Bronze Star if he survived the battle. The Starhawks landed and began the re-arming process.

During the torpedo attack, every ship took evasive action, increasing their thermal profile to full, except for the 20,000-ton Scythe class ship which had no detectable signature, at least from the perspective of Battlefleet Procyon which was sixteen million kilometres away. Imperial Intelligence designated this as another orbital defence platform. While the armament of the Scythe was unknown, Captain Caliban suspected it would be armed with anti-torpedo weapons, as it would make sense for the aliens to pair bases with long and short-range anti-torpedo capability. The thermal signature of both Jackal class ships fell by half after the attack, indicating they had lost engines, although there was no sign of the atmosphere loss that normally accompanied internal damage.

Eight minutes after the destruction of the Shroud class orbital defence platform, Battlefleet Procyon detected a wave of ninety-seven torpedoes inbound from the direction of the planet. Several other waves were detected behind the first. It appeared the aliens had not run out of torpedoes but instead had decided to hold their fire, possibly because they did not believe they could penetrate Imperial defences or perhaps they were laying a trap. Whatever the reason, their calculations had obviously changed following the destruction of the Shroud and the damage to their two Jackal class escorts. Battlefleet Procyon was larger than during the previous operation and despite a reduction in the total number of weapon batteries, its defensive capabilities were formidable. Captain Caliban ordered the fleet to retreat in the direction of the jump point to allow more recycle time between salvos, then Battlefleet Procyon methodically eliminated every last alien torpedo with a solid wall of defensive fire.

The fleet halted its retreat and waited for the deck crews to prepare the Starhawks for a third strike. Seventy minutes after the last alien torpedoes were destroyed, the Starhawks launched again. With the Shroud destroyed and the Jackals damaged, Captain Caliban decided to distribute his targeting across more alien ships. Eighteen Starhawks were ordered to attack the Scythe class orbital defence platform. Six each were directed against the two damaged Jackals. The remaining twenty-six were split between two of the 30,000 tons Sautekh class ships damaged in the first attack. Once again over three hundred light torpedoes were destroyed by alien anti-torpedoes. Without the Shroud, the point blank defensive fire was less effective, destroying eighty torpedoes. One hundred and seventy-eight struck the five targets. The Scythe was blown to pieces and both Jackals vanished in massive secondary power explosions. The already damaged Sautekh class ships suffered sixty hits between without any obvious sign of damage. The Starhawks returned to their motherships.

Nine alien ships remained and all three Sautekh class ships were damaged. There were sufficient supplies of light torpedoes on those Imperial ships with Starhawks to allow two more strikes. More than two thousand light torpedoes had been launched so far and two more strikes would consume a further thirteen hundred. The Imperium had a reserve stockpile of two thousand six hundred light torpedoes based at Terra and Endymion Base, so the second of those two potential strikes could not be replenished in the short term. Production rate was around five hundred light torpedoes per year, so each strike was consuming more than a year’s production. More ordnance factories would be required urgently. With those constraints in mind, Captain Gaius Caliban decided to launch one more strike on the basis that the enemy defences were likely to be significantly diminished, particularly if his assumption that the Scythe was a source of the anti-torpedoes was correct. After that strike, his ships would attempt an attack with their shipboard launchers and, if necessary, move into energy range.

Nine minutes after the third Starhawk strike, more alien torpedoes appeared on Imperial sensors, but this was a much weaker attack than before. The first two waves consisted of ninety-six torpedoes, one less than in the previous attack which indicated damage to one of the launching ships. The third and fourth waves each comprised eighty-nine torpedoes, while the fifth and sixth were thirty-seven and nine torpedoes respectively. There was no seventh wave. All the inbound torpedoes were shot down.

Working on the assumption that the three large Sautekh class ships were the source of the large torpedo salvos, as they were the only damaged ships, Captain Caliban decided to target the fourth Starhawk strike on the other four ships. While the Sautekhs were already damaged and therefore potentially easier to destroy, they were apparently running out of torpedoes so were less of a threat anyway. The two 20,000-ton Phaeron class ships were each targeted by fourteen Starhawks while the four 10,000 ton ships, two Khopesh, a Cairn and a Dirge, were each targeted by seven Starhawks. While this spread Imperial fire more than before, Caliban expected far fewer torpedoes to be destroyed on the way in.

One hundred and forty torpedoes were destroyed by anti-torpedoes so the alien fleet retained some stand-off defence capability. Energy-fire was minimal, destroying only twelve torpedoes. Two hundred and thirty light torpedoes struck the six targets. The Cairn class was destroyed by a massive secondary explosion and each of the other five alien ships suffered between thirty-four and fifty hits. The thermal signatures dropped on all but one, indicating engine damage.  Five of the original thirteen alien ships had been destroyed and the remaining eight had all taken significant damage. Captain Caliban ordered a single salvo from shipboard torpedo launchers to test the remaining alien defences. Thirty standard torpedoes were launched. When they were halfway to their target, a new wave of alien torpedoes appeared on Imperial sensors.



With only fifty-two torpedoes, this was the weakest first wave yet seen from the alien fleet. It was followed by two waves of seven, a wave of six and a final wave of three. Captain Caliban was firmly convinced the aliens were either seriously damaged or almost out of ordnance. The attack was easily brushed aside by the massed point defence fire of Battlefleet Procyon. Three minutes later, the Imperial torpedoes were intercepted and destroyed by alien anti-torpedoes. The alien fleet was badly hurt but still capable of fighting off smaller torpedo salvos. Although the Starhawks were capable of one final attack, Captain Caliban believed the battle could be won without further expenditure of torpedoes, plus he wanted to retain them as an option in case the aliens revealed any new capabilities. He ordered Battlefleet Procyon to advance on Procyon I and prepare for an energy-range engagement. The fleet had three main energy weapons; the Valentinian Precision Armaments V4-200 Lance Battery with a range of 200,000 kilometres, the Astaroth Kinetics AK-20 Weapons Battery used by the refitted ships, which had a range of 160,000 kilometres, and the older Astaroth Kinetics AK-15 Weapons Battery with a range of 90,000 kilometres.

Eight million kilometres from the planet, an alien population was finally detected, although the thermal signature was only strength-60. At six million kilometres, a ground force signature was detected, with a signature strength that suggested ground forces of approximately 20,000 tons. However, if those ground forces were fortified, which reduced their signature strength, the actual strength could be several times larger than the signature suggested. Furthermore, if the ground forces had a similar technological level to the alien ships and were dug in, they could present very formidable opposition. Captain Caliban designated targets for his fleet, directing fire against all the remaining alien ships, then defined a hold position ninety thousand kilometres from the planet. Battlefleet Procyon would advance through any hostile weapon fire and open fire with every energy weapon as soon as it was in range. At ninety thousand the fleet would halt and continuing firing until all targets were destroyed.

Half a million kilometres from Procyon I, the fleet detected hostile torpedo launches. The two Phaeron class ships each launched twenty-three size-1 torpedoes with a speed of 69,400 km/s; presumably the alien anti-torpedoes. The Dirge launched three size-4 torpedoes with a speed of 29,450 km/s and one of the two Khopesh class ships launched four size-4 torpedoes. The Phaeron were designated at escort cruisers and the Dirge and Khopesh were designated as destroyers. Even as the first wave of anti-torpedoes was eliminated by Battlefleet Procyon’s defence turrets and weapon batteries, one of the Phaerons launched a second wave of twenty-three. There were no more torpedoes from the other ships. Captain Caliban considered two possibilities; they were out of ordnance, or their magazines had been destroyed and the single wave comprised torpedoes left in their launchers. Either reason boded well for the Imperial fleet. Subsequent waves of twenty-three anti-torpedoes arrived every ten seconds and were all shot down.

At three hundred and ninety thousand kilometres, eleven surface-based laser weapons fired at the Dictator class cruiser Fortitude. None hit, probably due to the extreme range. By firing, the surface-to-orbit weapons revealed their position and were now visible to Imperial sensors. The signature indicated 1300 tons of STO ground forces but that was probably low due to fortification.



Battlefleet Procyon moved inside three hundred thousand kilometres, the range of the ship-based laser weapons encountered in the Prometheus system, without any further attacks. At two hundred and thirty thousand, the surface-based weapons fired again, inflicting five strength-8 hits on the frigate Excalibur. The first four hits took down her void shield and the fifth penetrated her armour, knocking out one of her two Ravenor Drive Systems RDS-300 Ion Drives. Eight of her crew were killed. Captain Caliban ordered her to pull back out of range. His fleet was powerful enough to finish the task without risking further damage to the frigate. Based on the range and damage caused, the surface-based lasers were considerably more powerful than those on the alien ships. Caliban ordered his seven remaining frigates to target the planet with their weapon batteries. The surface was dominated by Tundra, so the alien batteries would not be difficult to target.

At one hundred and ninety thousand kilometres, the fleet opened fire with lance batteries. The range was long and the alien ships were protected by some form of electronic countermeasures. Two strength-4 hits were scored, one against Sautekh 001 and the other against Phaeron 001. Ten seconds later, the alien ships and ground units were within range of Battlefleet Procyon’s massed weapon batteries. Over one hundred hits were scored in a few seconds from over six hundred shots, destroying the Dirge class and three of the ground-based lasers. Every alien warship suffered multiple hits. The barrage sparked a flurry of activity from the aliens. The three 30,000-ton Sautekh class ships each launched thirteen anti-ship missiles and began moving away from Battlefleet Procyon, along with one of the two Khopesh class destroyers The two Phaerons headed straight for the Imperial fleet, one of them still launching missiles, leaving the second Khopesh in orbit. The lance batteries fired again, scoring hits on both Phaerons and one of the retreating Sautekhs.

Wary of potential ramming tactics, Capital Caliban ordered his ships to pull back and to concentrate fire on the Phaerons. Both Phaerons suffered more than eighty strength-1 hits as they attempted to pursue the Imperial fleet. The group of four alien ships beyond the planet suddenly reversed course and also gave chase. Caliban ordered his torpedo-capable ship to start launching on the Sautekhs, on the assumption that the anti-torpedo capabilities of the aliens were almost exhausted.

The eight remaining surface-based lasers fired again, striking the Defiant class light cruiser Archangel with six strength-9 hits at a range of one hundred and ninety thousand kilometres. The Archangel was still equipped with the old VS-20 Void Shield as the Defiant class had not been refitted with newer technology and had generally weaker passive defence due to the need to incorporate a mixed armament and her hangar bays. The lasers blasted down the shield and three hits penetrated her armour. Fortunately, lost fuel storage was the extent of her damage. Because of the charging alien ships, apparently intent on ramming, Battlefleet Procyon was moving away and no longer able to engage the planetary batteries.

Weapon batteries and lance batteries continued to engage the alien ships and those ships with launchers tried to get their torpedoes into space. Due to a lack of fleet training, the changes in firing orders were not being executed very quickly. Suddenly, both Phaeron class ships exploded simultaneously. Imperial targeting changed to the three Sautekhs and the mobile Khopesh which had closed to one hundred and fifteen thousand kilometres and still moving at their apparent top speed of 5665 km/s. The second Khopesh remained at the planet.

The pursing ships were moving through a hail of fire but maintaining their speed. Eighteen standard torpedoes were launched from five different Imperial ships. Given the situation, no one was trying to synchronise fire so several more ships had yet to launch. Seven torpedoes struck their targets. The Khopesh was left dead in space with no engine power and the thermal signature of one of the Sautekhs dropped noticeably. Weapon batteries continued to pound the enemy with lances dealing heavier blows and the strength-9 warheads of the torpedoes inflicting the most damage. The slower-moving Sautekh suddenly vanished in a strength-109 secondary power explosion.  Five seconds later, the battered Khopesh exploded, then another Sautekh, ripped apart by two huge secondary explosions. The planetary lasers fired again, but at a range of three hundred and fifty thousand kilometres they could only inflict minor shield damage on the cruiser Retribution. The last Sautekh blew up a few seconds later. Apart from a single damaged Khopesh class in planetary orbit, the alien fleet had been wiped out.

Wary of the power of the alien surface-based lasers, Captain Caliban decided to detach his smaller ships and the Defiant class light cruisers before reversing course to engage them. The lasers fired at 230,000 kilometres, scoring four strength-8 hits and reducing the shields of Caliban’s flagship Fortitude by over fifty percent. Battlefleet Procyon returned fire with a total of thirty-six lance batteries from one hundred and ninety thousand kilometres, destroying one of the ground-based lasers. Ten seconds later, that was followed by three hundred and sixty shots from AK-20 weapon batteries which was sufficient to knock out four more. The Imperial weapons cycled once more before the lasers could fire and destroyed another two. The final surface battery scored a strength-20 hit on the strike cruiser Dread Argent from ninety thousand kilometres before it was finally destroyed. Captain Caliban considered himself fortunate to have such an overwhelming superiority in firepower. Destroying the lasers with a smaller force could have proven costly.

A single damaged Khopesh class remained in orbit, so Caliban considered using the space marines on board Dread Argent to attempt a boarding action. Capturing an alien ship, even a badly damaged one, would provide valuable intelligence on its capabilities. However, he was concerned about the earlier point defence fire that could not be attributed to any alien ship. Therefore, he ordered the Endurance II class light cruiser Ad Liberis to fire a single torpedo at the damaged destroyer to see the alien response. The torpedo was destroyed by energy weapon fire from the surface. The fleet immediately bombarded the location of the surface-based point defence, destroying the alien units within sixty seconds.

The bombardment of Procyon I was causing rising dust levels in the atmosphere. Even the relatively limited attack to destroy the eleven ground-based lasers and an estimated six point-defence installations was enough to lower the temperature by almost one degree. It would take several months for the dust to settle.  Given the probable size of the remaining alien ground forces, which could include thousands of infantry, any bombardment sufficient to inflict substantial casualties would render the planet uninhabitable for a very long time. The planet was an excellent terraforming candidate and Caliban had orders to avoid extensive orbital bombardment until the reason for the defence of a virtually uninhabited world was known, so for the moment Battlefleet Procyon held position at ninety thousand kilometres.

Dread Argent launched her three Thunderhawk assault transports, which closed rapidly on the crippled Khopesh class destroyer. The transports were equipped with special troop bays designed for boarding actions and each carried a space marine assault force. Together they formed a space marine company, comprising ninety space marines, eighteen terminator space marines and six officers, commanded by Captain Moloch Gordian. The boarding was conducted without losses as the target was stationary and the space marines entered the vessel through holes in the armour. To their surprise, the defenders, numbering approximately one hundred and sixty, were robotic with an almost skeletal, metallic appearance. The robotic crew was plainly not designed for combat and had only minimal weapons. Despite fierce resistance they were no match for the Imperial space marines and the vessel was taken in two minutes of intense combat. Thirty-five space marines were hit by hostile fire and six were wounded when those hits penetrated their armour. There were no Imperial fatalities and no alien survivors.

The Khopesh was very badly damaged and would require extensive repair. It would also take some time to become familiar with the operations of the alien ship so it would not be leaving the vicinity of Procyon I for some time. In terms of design, it was plainly intended as a specialised torpedo-armed warship, with no energy weapons, and had only the alien equivalent of a commercial defence turret for anti-torpedo defence. The primary active sensor was of particular interest to Imperial Intelligence, as it had a resolution of 250 tons, making it ideal for detecting Imperial attack craft. This discovery vindicated Captain Caliban’s caution in avoiding a long-range Starhawk strike in the original Procyon operation. The engines were based on magneto-plasma technology as suspected, giving them a significant advantage over Imperial Ion technology. Finally, the Khopesh was equipped with an electronic countermeasures system that would reduce the effectiveness of hostile fire controls. Once it was sufficiently mobile, the vessel would be moved to Terra. Intelligence could also be gained from the alien wreckage, so Imperial scientists were tasked with finding a way to salvage that wreckage in deep space.

Khopesh class Destroyer      9,875 tons       229 Crew       1,541.3 BP       TCS 198    TH 1,120    EM 0
5669 km/s      Armour 4-41       Shields 0-0       HTK 53      Sensors 11/0/0/0      DCR 3      PPV 28
Maint Life 0.72 Years     MSP 292    AFR 260%    IFR 3.6%    1YR 405    5YR 6,078    Max Repair 280 MSP
Magazine 653   
Commander    Control Rating 1   BRG   
Intended Deployment Time: 12 months    Morale Check Required   

Magneto-plasma Drive EP560 (2)    Power 1120    Fuel Use 37.42%    Signature 560    Explosion 10%
Fuel Capacity 650,000 Litres    Range 31.7 billion km (64 days at full power)

CIWS-200 (1x8)    Range 1000 km     TS: 20,000 km/s     ROF 5       
Size 4 Missile Launcher (7)     Missile Size: 4    Rate of Fire 15
Missile Fire Control FC41-R5 (1)     Range 41.5m km    Resolution 5

Active Search Sensor AS35-R5 (1)     GPS 630     Range 35.9m km    Resolution 5
Thermal Sensor TH1-11 (1)     Sensitivity 11     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  26.2m km
ECM 10

With the destruction of the alien space-borne forces and surface-to-orbit-capable ground forces, the Imperium controlled orbital space around Procyon I. The next phase was to survey the planet from orbit and to assemble sufficient ground forces to launch an invasion. In the meantime, many of the warships of Battlefleet Procyon could be redeployed to Terra and Endymion, leaving sufficient force to hold the system and support the invasion. Before the victorious Imperial forces went their separate ways, Captain Gaius Caliban awarded a number of decorations on behalf of the Emperor in recognition of service. The individual awards are listed below. In addition, every officer who participated in the operation to secure the Procyon system was awarded the newly-created Procyon Combat Ribbon. Captain Caliban himself was awarded the Macharian Cross by the Emperor, a medal that recognised intelligent application of combat tactics to gain a significant victory.

Silver Star: Awarded for destroying more than 25,000 tons of hostile warships
Captain Sicarius Ventris of the Mars II class battlecruiser Resolute.
Captain Lucifer Aurelius of the Mars II class battlecruiser Pax Imperium.
Captain Otho Gebert of the Lunar II class cruiser Retribution

Bronze Star: Awarded for destroying more than 10,000 tons of hostile warships
Commander Cleon Cestus of the Endurance II class light cruiser Bellator Stoicus
Lieutenant Commander Augustus Eisenstein of the Starhawk bomber Eisenstein’s Hammer
Lieutenant Commander Anton Temeter of the Starhawk bomber Avenging Angel

Bronze Star: Awarded for destroying 1,000 tons of hostile ground forces
Captain Ullis Belisarius of the Lunar II class cruiser Iron Duke.
Commander Indrick Caliban of the Dauntless II class light cruiser Dauntless
Commander Lucian Sarpedon of the Dauntless II class light cruiser Guardian
Commander Ezekiel Alaric of the Dauntless II class light cruiser Vigilant

Bronze Star: Awarded for capturing an enemy vessel
Captain Moloch Gordian of Space Marine Assault Force Astral Knights
Captain Vulkan Justinian of Space Marine Assault Force Black Ravens
Captain Batu Octavian of Space Marine Assault Force Celestial Guard

Meritorious Service Medal: Awarded for destroying one hundred hostile missiles.
Captain Ullis Belisarius of the Lunar II class cruiser Iron Duke.
Captain Otho Gebert of the Lunar II class cruiser Retribution
Captain Ethan Gordian of the Lunar II class cruiser Relentless
Commander Indrick Caliban of the Dauntless II class light cruiser Dauntless
Commander Lucian Sarpedon of the Dauntless II class light cruiser Guardian
Commander Alhaus Alexander of the Defiant class cruiser Defiant

The Dictator class cruisers Fortitude and Rhadamanthine and the light cruiser Defiant arrived at Endymion Base in early September and re-joined Battlefleet Prometheus. The second Defiant class light cruiser, Archangel, which had been part of Battlefleet Prometheus before joining Battlefleet Procyon, was en route to the Terran shipyards for repairs to her armour. As Captain Caliban was on board Fortitude, he resumed command of the forces in Endymion. A week later, a substantial portion of the Terra-based forces returned home, including the Mars II class battlecruisers Pax Imperium and Resolute, the cruisers Archon Kort and Iron Duke, the light cruisers Guardian and Vigilant, the strike cruiser Vae Victus and the frigates Excalibur, Liberator, Vortex and Final Silence. Excalibur also needed minor armour repairs. Battlefleet Procyon had been substantially reduced, but still included the Lunar II class cruisers Relentless and Retribution, a strike cruiser, four light cruisers, four frigates and two destroyers. Captain Ethan Gordian of the Relentless was in command.

The five huge Cetaceous class troop transports that would be needed to deliver ground forces to Procyon were scattered around the Imperium, mainly transporting Ordo Mineralis formations. This was a poor use of their one hundred thousand ton transport capacity as each Ordo Mineralis formation was less than ten thousand tons. A new Delphinus class transport had been designed to carry the small formations and the first ship was due to launch in January Y2512. In the meantime, three of the Cetaceous class transports had been ordered to leave their associated Ordo Mineralis formations at the closest major colony and return home to Terra.

Delphinus class Troop Transport      31,840 tons       194 Crew       824.9 BP       TCS 637    TH 1,296    EM 0
2035 km/s      Armour 1-89       Shields 0-0       HTK 78      Sensors 6/8/0/0      DCR 1      PPV 0
MSP 16    Max Repair 200 MSP
Troop Capacity 10,000 tons     Drop Capable    Cargo Shuttle Multiplier 1   
Lieutenant Commander    Control Rating 1   BRG   
Intended Deployment Time: 3 months   

Commercial Ion Drive (6)    Power 1296    Fuel Use 1.41%    Signature 216    Explosion 3%
Fuel Capacity 250,000 Litres    Range 100.3 billion km (570 days at full power)

MK I Commercial Active Augur Array (1)     GPS 1920     Range 31.5m km    Resolution 120
MK I Electromagnetic Augur Array (1)     Sensitivity 8     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  22.4m km
MK I Thermal Augur Array (1)     Sensitivity 6     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  19.4m km

In late October the survey frigate Ascension Tertius conducted an orbital survey of Procyon. All eleven minerals were present, with Mercassium and Vendarite at accessibility 1.0, Corbomite and Corundium at mid-accessibility and Duranium and Uridium at 0.3 accessibility. There was a low chance that a ground survey could reveal further deposits. The survey frigate also detected the ruins of an alien colony on the planet. It was possible that artifacts or even installations could be recovered from the surface, once it was in Imperial possession. It appeared the alien ‘race’ was in reality a group of robotic ships defending a dead city. The survey frigate captain, Commander Ephrael Phaeron, commented that as the aliens were defending a necropolis, they should be known as the Necrons. The name quickly took hold among the Imperial crews and soon thereafter became the official designation for the aliens first encountered in Prometheus. The Necron forces in Prometheus were considerably larger than those in Procyon so High Admiral Verus decided to wait until Procyon was fully secured and new ordnance stockpiled before a new operation began.

Procyon I Survey Report
Duranium:   5,644,800   0.30
Neutronium:   14,137,600   0.10
Corbomite:   11,289,600   0.60
Tritanium:   9,985,600   0.10
Boronide:   1,960,000   0.10
Mercassium:   313,600   1.00
Vendarite:   1,166,400   1.00
Sorium:   1,000,000   0.10
Uridium:   57,600   0.30
Corundium:   25,600   0.50
Gallicite:   1,345,600   0.10

The captured Khopesh proved troublesome. The first Orion class support vessel, a cut-down version of the Galaxy with similar fuel and maintenance supply capacities but without the maintenance modules and magazines, had arrived in Procyon and provided maintenance supplies to the crippled destroyer. Using those supplies, the prize crew on the Khopesh had managed to repair everything except the magazine and the engines, both of which were beyond the ability of the ship to repair from its own resources. A Goliath class tug was dispatched to tow it back to Terra.

In Davin, a squadron of three frigates and a destroyer, detached from Battlefleet Gryphonne and under the command of Commander Morgan Alpheus, were picketing the system to monitor the ten jump points. Six months earlier the survey frigate Sapientius had entered the Davin – Praetoria jump point and there had been no word since. It was possible the frigate was exploring new systems it had discovered but as a Stargate class jump stabilisation station was about enter Praetoria, Commander Alpheus decided to take his own ship, the Falchion II class jump frigate Claymore, and check on the situation. On entering the system, Claymore detected the wreck beacon from Sapientius. The jump frigate transited back into Davin and Commander Alpheus raised the alarm via the stabilised jump point to Gryphonne. He also ordered the Cobra II class destroyer Arbitrator to leave the rest of the squadron in Davin and join him in Praetoria.

While the new threat in Praetoria added an extra dimension to the strategic challenges facing the Imperium, the situation could have been worse. The fleet base at Gryphonne had been established before the Davin jump points were explored with exactly this type of situation in mind. In addition, as one of Davin’s jump points led to Endymion, there were two fleet bases adjacent to Davin. In combination, they provided a strong forward defence against any threat emerging from Praetoria. Arbitrator had several augur torpedoes in her magazines that would provide intelligence on the size of that threat.

New construction during Y2511 comprised three Thunderhawk class assault transports, an Orion class support vessel, two Jericho class colony ships, a Universe class mass conveyor, two Gaia class terraforming stations, an Ambrosia class fuel harvester. Due to the recent emphasis on refits, no new warships were built during the year. The list of refits was as follows:

Y2511 Refits
Dauntless II class Light Cruiser: Vigilant
Sword II class Frigate: Achilles, Strident Virtue, Valiant
Firestorm II class Frigate: Firestorm, Gorgon, Liberator, Vortex
Falchion II class Jump Frigate: Gladius, Spatha
Cobra II class Destroyer: Emperor’s Hand, Implacable, Omnis Arcanum

At the end of Y2511, the population of the Imperium was approaching one point six billion, with more than one hundred million of that total on sixteen different colonies. Those colonies and any major installations are listed below in descending order of population. R in parentheses denotes a refuelling capability, O denotes an ordnance transfer capability and C denotes a cargo transfer capability.

Imperial Colonies – December Y2511
Mars: 33m. 255x Financial Centre.
Centaurus Colony (ROC): 27m. 90x Mine, 35x Fuel Refinery, 15x Maintenance Facility, 1x Naval Shipyard.
Endymion Base (RO): 17m. 120x Maintenance Facility.
Gryphonne Colony (R): 8m. 50x Maintenance Facility.
Prospero Colony (RC): 5m. 35x Maintenance Facility, 15x Financial Centre.
Athena Colony (R): 5m. 20x Maintenance Facility.
Arcadia Colony: 3.3m. 15x Maintenance Facility.
Taranis Colony: 3.0m. 25x Mine.
Damocles Colony: 2.6m. 35x Financial Centre.
Aurelia Colony: 2.0m.
Altair III (R): 1.8m.
Aeolus Colony: 1.7m
Nostramo: 1.1m.
Carpathia Colony: 0.7m.
Altair II: 0.5m.
Macharia: 0.5m.
« Last Edit: August 24, 2019, 05:15:43 PM by Steve Walmsley »
 

Offline Steve Walmsley (OP)

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Re: Crusade - Updates
« Reply #5 on: September 02, 2019, 11:37:58 AM »
Y2512
In the Praetoria system, the Cobra II class destroyer Arbitrator launched a pair of augur torpedoes at each of the two planets from six hundred million kilometres away. The torpedoes were hallway to their targets when they detected powerful sensors on two Necron ships, designated as Mephrit class, moving at 8486 km/s. Sapientius had also detected a Mephrit but that knowledge died with the ship. Commander Varro Tarkus of the Arbitrator could see the fast-moving ships were on a direct course for his own command and realised he was very close to the wreck of Sapientius. Whatever had happened to that ship was now likely to happen to Arbitrator. It was unlikely the aliens had an active contact at such a range, which means they were probably tracking Arbitrator’s thermal emissions or active sensor emissions. Commander Tarkus ordered his tactical officer to disengage the active sensor and ordered his helmsman to reverse course and run.

Within a couple of minutes of the sensor deactivation, one of the Mephrits headed back toward the planet while the other continued on course. The augur torpedoes passed very close to the outward-bound Mephrit, confirming its size as 9898 tons and also confirming a lack of ranged anti-torpedo weapons. Given their speed and powerful sensors, Tarkus believed they were most likely some form of scout. The augur torpedoes lost contact with the Necron ships and continued toward the planets. The inner planet was a scorched, barren world and one pair of torpedoes confirmed there was nothing in orbit. The second pair of torpedoes found a powerful alien fleet in orbit of Praetoria II, a planet with vast ice sheets and a thin nitrogen-oxygen atmosphere.



The Necron fleet was significantly larger than the one encountered in Procyon. Four orbital defence platforms, two Shrouds and two Scythes, provided very strong fixed defences. The mobile forces included three 30,000-ton Sautekh class torpedo cruisers, three 20,000 ton Phaeron class escort cruisers, seven destroyers of the Cairn, Dirge and Khopesh classes, two Jackal class escorts and a single unit of a new class, the 20,000-ton Tesseract. One of the two Mephrits encountered earlier was also in orbit. The anti-torpedo defences of this force would be almost double that of the Necron fleet in Procyon, which meant similar mass Starhawk attacks would fail, even if the Imperium could afford to expend that many torpedoes. As expected, the augur torpedoes were destroyed two million kilometres from the planet. Arbitrator arrived back at the jump point on January 7th without further incident and transited into Davin.

On March 23rd, the Cetaceous class troop transports Mordian, Tallarn, Valhalla and Vostroya moved into low orbit of Procyon I to make the Imperial Navy’s first combat drop. The landing force was formidable. Twelve Imperial Guard infantry regiments, three armoured regiments and two light armour companies, supported by two Ordo Machinum formations to aid with fortification and three logistics regiments with extra supplies. The Imperial Guard regiments were organised into three corps, each with four regiments. The Cadian Corps, the Mordian Iron Guard and the Valhallan Ice Warriors were all were formations from the pre-Space unification of Terra. The armoured forces, including the Konig Armoured Regiment, the Krieg Armoured Regiment and the Magdellan Tank Regiment, acted independently. Two cruisers, four light cruisers, a strike cruiser, four frigates and two destroyers provided orbital bombardment support. In total, the invasion force comprised:

Armoured Forces
180x Leman Russ Battle Tank (HAV, HCAP)
80 x Hellhound Anti-Infantry Tank (2x CAP)
18x Leman Russ Annihilator Tank Destroyer (2x HAV)
22x Hydra Flak Tank (2x MAA)
6x Vox Caster Vehicle (FFD)
4x Salamander Command Vehicle (HQ, CAP)
3x Leman Russ Command Tank (HQ, HCAP)
80x Supply Vehicles (LOG)

Infantry Forces
28,880x Guardsmen (PW)
1,440x Chimeras (Light Vehicle - CAP)
960x Lascannons (LAV)
882x Supply Vehicles (LOG)
288x Heavy Mortars (MB)
216x Hydra Flak Platforms (MAA)
36x Land Crawler (2x CON)
24x Vox Casters (FFD)
12x Regimental HQ
3x Leviathan Command Vehicle (HQ, MAC)

Support Forces Vehicles
450x Supply Vehicles (LOG)
60x Land Crawler (2x CON)
2x Ordo Command Vehicle (HQ, CAP)



All the Imperial Guard and support forces adopted a defensive front-line position, intending to fight a sustained campaign, while the armoured forces went on the offensive, searching for a decisive early blow. The hostile forces were robotic in nature, similar to the Necron crews but obviously designed for combat. The Necrons had constructed an extensive network of bunkers and other fortifications that would be very difficult to overcome even in ideal conditions. On Procyon I, which had temperatures below normal human tolerance, that would be even more challenging. The only positive was that the dominant terrain on Procyon was Tundra. If the terrain had been forested or mountainous, that would have greatly aided the defenders.

The Necron forces were comprised of a number of different types. The most common was designated as the Centurion, a humanoid sized robot armed with the equivalent of the crew-served anti-personnel weapon used on the Chimera and the Hellhound, albeit with twenty percent greater penetration and damage. More fearsome was the Praetorian Combat Mech, a huge walking tank with two arm-mounted weapons; a heavy anti-vehicle cannon and a heavier version of the Centurion weapon. In function it was similar to the Leman Russ Battle Tank, with more powerful weapons but less capable armour. There were two variants of the Praetorian; one armed with a just the anti-vehicle weapon, which was possibly some form of command mech, and the Decurion, which was armed with two medium anti-air weapons. With the overall strength of Necron weapons, the Decurion was highly effective against ground targets as well. The Necrons also had a static artillery unit that was much more powerful than the Imperial heavy mortar. In addition to the combat forces, there was a Centurion-sized robot without any weapons that probably served a logistics function, and a large unarmed vehicle used for construction. The landing force estimated the Necron strength at fourteen hundred Centurions, supported by approximately one hundred and thirty Praetorians, sixty Decurions and twenty-five static artillery pieces. Only four of the leader types had been observed and the number of construction vehicles and supply bots was unknown as they seemed to be generally held in rear areas.

Despite the heavy defences, the initial armour attack yielded a breakthrough by the Konig Armoured Regiment and the Third Light Armour Company. The Leman Russ Battle Tanks of the Konig did well, destroying three Centurions, two Decurion AA Mechs, a Praetorian Combat Mech and a supply bot, all without loss. The Third Light ran into a devastating ambush, losing thirty-four of its forty Hellhound tanks, both Salamander command vehicles, both Hydra Flak Tanks and all four supply vehicles. It was effectively finished as a fighting formation. The six remaining Hellhounds were assigned to the Fourth Light.

Following the armoured attack, the Imperial and Necron forces both mounted local attacks along the line without ever moving on to the strategic offensive. Imperial casualties were high due to their complete lack of fortified positions. During the first six hours after landing, the Imperial Guard lost eleven hundred Guardsman, a hundred anti-vehicle Lascannons, fifty-two Chimera light attack vehicles, fourteen Hydra Flak Platforms, thirty-six supply vehicles, a Leman Russ Battle Tank and a Leman Russ Annihilator. Beyond the immediate combat losses, the Regimental HQs of the 2nd Mordian and 4th Valhallan were both overrun, preventing their commanders from using their skills to direct the battle, and four Vox Caster units were destroyed, reducing the ability of the surface forces to direct orbital bombardment support. The Imperial forces fought bravely, supported by fire from the ships in orbit, and destroyed forty-four Centurions, six Decurions, six Praetorians and seventy-five supply bots. Counter-battery fire from heavy mortars destroyed a pair of Necron artillery pieces.

General Leman Cain, directly commanding the Cadian Corps and senior officer on the surface of Procyon, ordered all units to pull back from the front line. Continuing a direct assault would result in many thousands of casualties and the final outcome would be in doubt. The Imperial forces would establish fortifications to rival their opponents before General Cain would countenance further large-scale operations. He was well aware the Necron forces could leave their fortifications and launch an offensive before his own forces could dig-in, but that would allow a fight on equal terms. Given the defensive nature of the Necrons tactics in space, he doubted they would sacrifice their current advantage for an uncertain offensive.

After a month of effort, each Terran formation was fortified to the limit of its inherent capabilities. The two Ordo Machinum formations did their best to improve those fortifications but they were relatively small compared to the vast array of Guardsman and armoured vehicles. Each of the two formations had a fortification capacity of 4500 tons, which mean they could fortify 4500 tons of ground forces to the maximum possible within ninety days. There were 365,000 tons of ground forces on Procyon. One of the troop transports returned to Terra to load two more armoured formations, the Palladius Armoured Regiment and the Paragonian Tank Regiment, so the vehicles of the Ordo Machinum did their best while the Terran forces waited for reinforcement.

After eight months of inactivity, the attack was resumed on November 4th. The ships that had provided orbital bombardment support during the last attack had all returned to Terra for resupply and overhaul and new ships had arrived. The latest incarnation of Battlefleet Procyon comprised ships with an energy focused armament, including the battlecruiser Overlord, the Lunar II class cruiser Iron Duke, the Dauntless II class light cruisers Aegis, Guardian, Hammer of Truth and Uziel and the Sword II class frigates Achilles, Excalibur, Final Silence and Pegasus.

The first attack of the first day was spearheaded by the newly arrived Paragonian Tank Regiment. They suffered heavy losses, losing a third of their Leman Russ battle tanks, one of their six Leman Russ Annihilator tank destroyers, all of their supply vehicles, four of their six flak tank and both Vox Caster vehicles. They cleared the way for the other armoured regiments and the Guardsman, who suffered relatively light casualties compared to the March offensive; approximately two hundred Guardsmen and twenty Chimeras. A Necron local counter-attack destroyed the Regimental HQ of the 2nd Valhalla Regiment and both of the regimental Vox Casters. Overall Necron casualties were estimated at fifty Centurions, five Praetorian Combat Mechs, a Decurion AA Mech, forty supply bots and the first Praetorian Leader to be destroyed. Orbital fire support accounted for three of the Centurions and three of the powerful Necron artillery units.

Two follow up attacks in the afternoon and evening were smaller in scale, but even more in the Imperium’s favour. While the loss of four hundred Guardsmen, twenty-seven Chimeras and several other units, including the Regimental HQ of the 3rd Cadian, was not a small price to pay, the casualties inflicted on the Necrons included almost ninety Centurions, nine Praetorians, ten Decurions, three construction vehicles and a pair of artillery pieces. The Konig Armoured Regiment penetrated the Necron lines and attacked the rear areas, identifying two new Necron unit types. There were more than a hundred vehicles, probably used for supply, plus a pair of the largest Mechs seen so far, although they were no better armed than the Praetorian Leader. The Leman Russ tanks of the Konig killed several vehicles and one of the new ‘Super-Leaders’ before withdrawing to their own lines.

Over the next few days the battle continued, with clashes every few hours. The Necrons maintained their forces on the strategic defensive. The infantry regiments of Imperial Guard fought from their fortifications, mounting local attacks, while the five armoured regiments fought on the move, looking for weaknesses in the Necron lines. The infantry concentrated on destroying the Centurions, relying on the massed Leman Russ battle tanks to destroy the larger Praetorians and Decurions. The Leman Russ and the Annihilator variant proved invaluable due to their toughness. In an engagement on the evening of the fourth day of the battle, the Konig and Krieg regiments destroyed twenty Centurions, two Praetorians and two Decurions. Almost sixty tanks were hit by enemy fire and every one survived.

On average, four hundred Guardsmen were killed in action each day, along with approximately twenty Chimeras and thirty Lascannon. The enemy was suffering losses too, with an estimated one hundred and fifty Centurions destroyed each day, plus approximately fifteen of the formidable Praetorian Combat Mechs. Despite the superior Necron technology, the superior numbers of the Imperium, along with a willingness to use those numbers, were beginning to tell.  On the morning of the fifth day, the armoured forces suffered their first significant casualties since the opening day of the November offensive. Thirteen Leman Russ battle tanks, a Hydra flak tank and the Leman Russ command tank, all from the Palladius Armoured Regiment, were lost in a clash with locally superior Necron forces. The battle was hard fought and cost the Necrons more than sixty Centurions, five Praetorians, two of which were destroyed by orbital bombardment in direct support of the armour, and six Decurions.

By the end of the fifth day Imperial Intelligence estimated that the Necron forces had been reduced to about half their original strength. Imperial losses were heavier in terms of casualties, but lower as a proportion of overall strength. Of twelve infantry regiments engaged, the 4th Cadian and 3rd Mordian were the only regiments without a casualty. Most had losses between five and fifteen percent, with the exceptions being the 2nd Mordian and 4th Valhallan, both of which had lost a third of their strength. Three of the five armoured regiments were relatively intact, but the Palladius Armoured Regiment had lost almost half of its tanks and the Paragonian Tank Regiment had a lost a third.

Just before nightfall on day seven, the Imperial forces achieved a significant breakthrough. The Konig Armoured Regiment, commanded by Colonel Hektor Horst, the 1st and 3rd Cadian regiments and the 1st Valhallan broke the Necron line, inflicting considerable damage. Across the whole battlefield, seventy-eight Centurions, six Praetorians, two Decurions, the last Praetorian command mech and two artillery pieces were destroyed during eight hours of combat. The Konig Armoured alone was responsible for a third of the enemy losses. Imperial casualties were seventy-two Guardsman, five Chimeras and eleven Lascannon. For the first the Necrons were suffering higher casualties than the Imperium in total units destroyed, despite the individual Necron superiority.

The next morning, the entire Imperial armoured force achieved a breakout, with the Konig Armoured leading the way once more, and Necron casualties continued to mount. Eighty-four Centurions and thirteen of the larger mechs were eliminated. Imperial losses were sixty Guardsmen and five Chimeras. The rapidly thinning ranks of the Necron mechs could no longer hold back the massed Imperial forces. Around four hundred Centurions remained, supported by the last fifteen Praetorian Combat Mechs and a solitary Decurion AA Mech. The operation became a mopping up exercise as the armoured regiments and the Fourth Light Armour Company cut through the Necron positions at will. The infantry regiments maintained their front line defensive stance, making local attacks and maintaining pressure.

The campaign was completed on the tenth day, as the last Necron forces were eliminated. If the Necrons had any active installations, they were destroyed in the fighting, leaving only the old ruins. The Imperium paid a high price for the victory. Three thousand seven hundred and sixteen Guardsman were casualties. Forty-five Leman Russ battle tanks were destroyed, along with four Leman Russ Annihilator tank destroyers, two Leman Russ Command tanks and almost seven hundred other combat vehicles and static weapons. Nine of the twelve infantry regiments lost their headquarters, preventing their commanders from influencing the battle.





Despite the carnage, some formations distinguished themselves in combat. The Konig Armoured Regiment destroyed fifteen thousand tons of hostile forces, almost triple the amount destroyed by any other formation, earning Colonel Hektor Horst the Silver Star. The Krieg Armoured Regiment and the Magdellan Tank Regiment both destroyed in excess of five thousand tons, the Palladius Armoured Regiment destroyed three thousand seven hundred tons and the 4th Cadian Infantry Regiment destroyed two thousand five hundred tons. The four Colonels, Regulus Gaunt, Raziel Glacius, Valerian Endanor and Lucifer Hadrian respectively, were all awarded the Bronze Star.

Because of their high casualties, the 2nd Mordian and 4th Valhallan regiments were disbanded and their remaining forces transferred to other infantry regiments to bring them closer to normal strength. On Terra, two new regiments, equipped with the new Lasgun Mk II and the Chimera II, were designated as the 5th Mordian and 5th Valhallan and would join the respective Corps commands. The Paragonian Tank Regiment was disbanded and its remaining vehicles were used to bring the Palladius Armoured Regiment up to strength and to increase the highly successful Konig Armoured Regiment to seventy-six Leman Russ battle tanks and nine Annihilator tank destroyers. The oversized Konig would function as an elite shock formation. The three Logistics regiments, with four hundred and fifty supply vehicles, were all disbanded and their vehicles used to bring all the combat regiments up to their full supply complement.

With the operation completed, substantial ground forces were no longer required to hold the planet. The Cadian Corps would remain, while the other infantry corps and the armoured forces would return to Terra as transport became available. Two Ordo Xenos formations and the 9th Planetary Defence Force, equipped with STO weapons, which had been waiting in orbit on board the troop transport Valhalla, were now landed on Procyon I. During the long period when Imperial forces were constructing fortifications and awaiting reinforcement, an Ordo Mineralis formation had surveyed the planet discovered new deposits of Duranium, increasing the amount available from five million to twenty-eight million tons and improving the accessibility from 0.3 to 0.6. With high accessibility Mercassium and Vendarite, mid-accessibility Duranium, Corbomite and Corundium and minimal accessibility deposits of every other mineral, Procyon would be a very good complement to the other Imperial manned mining colonies in Taranis and Aurelia and the automated operation in Phaeton.

Procyon I Updated Survey Report
Duranium:   28,275,200   0.60
Neutronium:   14,137,600   0.10
Corbomite:   11,289,600   0.60
Tritanium:   9,985,600   0.10
Boronide:   1,960,000   0.10
Mercassium:   313,600   1.00
Vendarite:   1,166,400   1.00
Sorium:   1,000,000   0.10
Uridium:   57,600   0.30
Corundium:   25,600   0.50
Gallicite:   1,345,600   0.10

While combat was taking place on the surface of Procyon, the survey frigates Ascension Tertius and Quaesitor had been surveying the Procyon system. The gravitational survey revealed a single jump point that led to Sabatine, a red dwarf system with four planets, two of which were colony cost 2.00 terrestrial worlds. Both worlds had large, accessible deposit of Gallicite, which was rare, but they lacked Duranium deposits and were not good terraforming candidates, so Taranis would remain the Imperium’s main future source of Gallicite.

Exploration continued apace throughout the Imperium in Y2512. The area around Prospero was expanded with two new systems discovered beyond Eta Cassiopeiae, two more beyond Verghast. The area beyond Golgotha, neglected for many years, was expanded with the exploration of two jump points in Cypra Mundi and two more in Ardium. Three led to unremarkable systems; the fourth connected to the already known Mordian system, two jumps from Prospero, bringing together two hitherto unconnected areas of the Imperium. A gravitational survey was finally started in Sigma Draconis, three jumps from Sol via Alpha Centauri and Carpathia and discovered in November Y2501. The survey was still underway at the end of the year but one jump point had been located and explored, revealing Caliban, an orange K5-V star with nine planets. Caliban III was an excellent terraforming candidate, with acceptable temperature, a near-breathable atmosphere and large lakes covering over twenty percent of the surface. The planet would be a high priority once the current terraforming operations in Taranis and Aurelia were complete.

New colonies were established on Cypra Mundi I, located five jumps from Sol via Hesperus, Arcadia, AD Leonis and Golgotha, and on Davin II, a system with ten jump points situated between Endymion Base and Gryphonne colony. Both worlds were good terraforming candidates. The condensation of the water vapour in the atmosphere of Endymion Base passed the point at which the huge asteroid became an ideal habitable world, only the third such world and after Terra and Centaurus Colony. The first civilian mining colonies were established in the Athena and Gryphonne systems. In total, fourteen civilian mining colonies were in operation across five different systems.

Warship construction resumed in Y2512 with the completion of the Lunar II class cruisers Agrippa and Holy Flame, the strike cruiser Angelic Blade and the Dauntless II class light cruiser Ravenor. Other construction included the Tempest-J class survey frigates Constantia and Vita Brevis, the first Delphinus class troop transport, designed for the movement of small formations such as the Ordo Mineralis, the second Orion class support vessel, a Universe class mass conveyor, the second and third Solomon class orbital mining stations, a Gaia class terraforming station and an Ambrosia class fuel harvester station. Refits to the Cobra II class were carried out on Callidus, Veritas and Zealous and refits to the Falchion II class jump frigate were carried out on Katana, Khopesh and Scimitar. Twenty-nine Starhawk bombers were upgraded to the Starhawk II design, which included on-board engineering to avoid maintenance failures.

Finally, one of the eight Stargate class stabilisation stations was converted into a ship, capable of moving under its own power. With increasing demands on the seven Goliath class tugs, the stabilisation stations were suffering downtime between missions.  The Gateway design was an effort to simply logistics and reduce reliance on the Goliaths. Depending on the success of the design, the other stations would be converted as they became available.

Gateway class Stabilisation Ship      88,585 tons       332 Crew       1,736.8 BP       TCS 1,772    TH 2,592    EM 0
1462 km/s      Armour 1-177       Shields 0-0       HTK 106      Sensors 6/8/0/0      DCR 1      PPV 0
MSP 12    Max Repair 1000 MSP
Lieutenant Commander    Control Rating 1   BRG   
Intended Deployment Time: 3 months   
Jump Point Stabilisation: 180 days

Commercial Ion Drive (12)    Power 2592    Fuel Use 1.41%    Signature 216    Explosion 3%
Fuel Capacity 750,000 Litres    Range 108.1 billion km (855 days at full power)

MK I Commercial Active Augur Array (1)     GPS 1920     Range 31.5m km    Resolution 120
MK I Electromagnetic Augur Array (1)     Sensitivity 8     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  22.4m km
MK I Thermal Augur Array (1)     Sensitivity 6     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  19.4m km

With the conclusion of the Procyon campaign, the Imperium could draw a strategic breath. The Ordo Xenos units would investigate the ruins and determine if they were of value, while the military forces of the Imperium rested and prepared for the next operation. The Necron forces in Prometheus and Praetoria were both considerably larger than those in Procyon, so the battle would be correspondingly more difficult. It was unlikely the same massed Starhawk attack would work, given the greater defensive capability of those larger fleets, even if the Imperium could produce enough light torpedoes, so an energy engagement was a more likely scenario. Imperial scientists were hard at work on a significant upgrade to the Lance Battery, which they named the Particle Lance. They had great hopes that this new weapon would prove decisive in the next battle with the Necrons.




 
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Offline Steve Walmsley (OP)

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Re: Crusade - Updates
« Reply #6 on: November 06, 2019, 10:18:45 AM »
Y2513
Y2513 was a relatively quiet year for the Imperium. Exploration continued, with four systems discovered in the chain beyond Procyon and three more in a chain stretching from Kodiak, two jumps beyond Prospero. None had any worlds worthy of note. The number of known systems reached one hundred and fourteen by the end of the year. New colonies were created on Malagant II, which would act as a coordination centre for asteroid mining operations in the system, and on the third moon of Gryphonne II, which would become a mining outpost to supply eventual construction activities at the colony on Gryphonne I. Two small civilian mining outposts in Gryphonne were also suppling the main colony.

Gryphonne II - Moon 3 Survey Report
Duranium:   1,219,922   0.90
Corbomite:   484   0.80
Tritanium:   495,616   0.50
Boronide:   302,500   0.70
Mercassium:   27,225   0.70
Uridium:   980,100   0.60
Gallicite:   1,210,000   0.50

In the Sol system, a Stargate class station was used to stabilise the Lagrange point in the orbit of Saturn, which would allow ships to jump between that point and the Lagrange point in the orbit of Jupiter. Work was underway on stabilising the Lagrange points of Uranus and Neptune, which would create more opportunities for shorter trips across the system.

The ruins on Procyon were studied by the experts in the Ordo Xenos formations. The language and symbology used in the ruins was decoded, revealing that the planet was once home to a race known as the Anum. Fifty locations were identified where abandoned installations could be revived or useful supplies recovered. By the end of the year, all locations had been investigated by Ordo Machinum formations on Procyon, resulting in the recovery of the following:

1000x Infrastructure
220x Low Gravity Infrastructure
6x Automated Mine
4x Mine
4x Construction Factory
3x Maintenance Facility
2x Ordnance Factory
2x Fuel Refinery
Ground Forces Construction Complex
Refuelling Station
Ordnance Transfer Station
Financial Centre
Deep Space Tracking Station
Fuel: 17.4m litres
Maintenance Supplies: 28,800
Wealth: 22,000
Vendarite: 7,000
Tritanium: 6,000
4x Geo Survey Sensors

New construction during the year included the Dauntless II class light cruiser Luxor, the Cetaceous class troop transport Elysia, three Delphinus class troop transports, intended for the transport of small ground forces such as Ordo Mineralis formations, four Universe class mass conveyors, two Jericho class colony ships, two Gaia class terraforming stations and three Ambrosia class fuel harvesting stations. Refits were completed on the Cobra class destroyers Honoured Prophecy and Valour Eternal and the Falchion class jump frigates Falchion and Flamberge, converting them to the Cobra II and Falchion II classes respectively. Covenant, the last Tempest-E survey frigate, was converted to the Tempest-J standard. A Stargate class station was refitted with engines, creating the second Gateway class stabilisation ship.

Repairs were completed on the captured Necron destroyer designated as Khopesh 001. As there was already an Imperial frigate named Khopesh, the captured ship was officially named Procyon Victory. She would be refitted with Imperial technology at some point, as her torpedo launchers were too small for standard torpedoes. For the moment she would be armed with light torpedoes and serve with Battlefleet Terra.

Several key technologies were developed by Imperial scientists during the year. Ceramic Composite Armour was an upgrade to the existing composite armour that would provide twenty-five percent more protection for the same volume. The Particle Lance was a larger and more powerful version of the standard Lance Battery, designed to cut straight through enemy armour. The various technologies underpinning the Particle Lance had been under development for several years. Finally, the Stellarator Reactor was both an upgrade to the existing gas-cooled reactors and a pre-requisite technology for the same Magneto-plasma drive technology used by the Necrons. New ground units were under development to use the upgraded armour and a ground-based version of the particle lance was planned. The new technology would also be used for new classes of ships and for a series of refits for the Imperial Navy once Magneto-plasma drive technology was available.

Y2514
During Y2514, exploration was focused around the Gothic and Greyshroud systems. Gothic, six transits from Sol via Bernard’s Star, Colchis, Arconar, Valon and Nostramo, was discovered in Y2505. The primary was a red dwarf, like most systems in the Imperium, and had six planets, two of which were colony cost 2.00 terrestrial worlds, plus a large asteroid belt. No colonies had been established, although the innermost world was a candidate. While it lacked both water and an atmosphere, it had substantial mineral deposits and was smaller than Mercury, which made it relatively easy to terraform. Gothic was in a part of Imperial space known as the Aurelian Loop, due to the discovery of a link between the Asteroth and Aurelia systems which, prior to Y2506, had been far apart in terms of transits. That link created a loop of eleven systems that included Sol. Gothic was not directly part of the loop, but the adjacent Nostramo system was. The creation of the loop created a second route from Sol to Gothic via Sirius, 70 Ophiuchi, Aurelia, Asteroth, Malagant and Nostramo.

Gothic I Survey Report
Duranium:   3,559,112   0.50
Neutronium:   1,718,721   0.10
Corbomite:   152,881   0.90
Mercassium:   1,485,961   0.50
Sorium:   385,641   0.10
Uridium:   933,156   0.90
Corundium:   42,849   0.80
Gallicite:   3,912,484   0.10

A geological survey of Gothic was completed a couple of years after its discovery by one of the four Talos class survey craft, originally designed to survey the Kuiper Belt to free up the Tempest class survey frigates, but still in operation fourteen years later. The gravitational survey did not begin until late Y2513, with the first jump point explored in March Y2514. By July, four more jump points had been discovered, giving Gothic a total of six, the most in any Imperial system except for the ten jump points of Davin.

Talos class Survey Craft      500 tons       13 Crew       125.5 BP       TCS 10    TH 10    EM 0
1000 km/s      Armour 1-5       Shields 0-0       HTK 3      Sensors 0/0/0/1      DCR 0      PPV 0
Maint Life 4.26 Years     MSP 39    AFR 8%    IFR 0.1%    1YR 3    5YR 52    Max Repair 100 MSP
Lieutenant Commander    Control Rating 1   
Intended Deployment Time: 48 months    Morale Check Required   

Survey Shuttle Engine (1)    Power 10    Fuel Use 15.84%    Signature 10    Explosion 4%
Fuel Capacity 52,000 Litres    Range 118.2 billion km (1367 days at full power)
Geological Survey Sensors (1)   1 Survey Points Per Hour

Sagittarii, a planetless red dwarf, was the first new system to be discovered, followed by Tyran, a rare trinary system with three red dwarfs. The primary and B component orbited less than two hundred million kilometres apart with the distant third star at almost two hundred billion kilometres. The three stars had a total of ten planets, including Tyran B-III with 70% ice sheets and an atmosphere that was close to breathable, plus two other colony cost 2.00 worlds. Lagrange points were present in the secondary and tertiary solar systems. Angelis, a red dwarf binary explored in June Y2514, had three worlds, two of which were colony cost 2.00 terrestrial worlds, albeit without air or water. Sagittarii, Tyran and Angelis were all discovered by the jump frigate Falchion. The last two systems, Solomon and Olympia, were both discovered on the same day, July 29th Y2514, by the Tempest-J class survey frigates, Vox Caelus and Covenant.

In Solomon, Vox Caelus recorded seven planets, one of which was a colony cost 2.00 world with an extensive ice sheet, eighty-five moons and a small asteroid belt. In Olympia, a red dwarf binary, Covenant identified twelve planets, all of which orbited the primary star. The first three planets were all colony cost 2.00 terrestrials with sufficient water and thin nitrogen-based atmospheres, two of which contained oxygen. Given the potentially valuable nature of the discovery, Covenant headed in-system to conduct a geological survey. Twenty-five million kilometres from the innermost planet, she detected an inbound wave of thirty-four torpedoes. Covenant tried to run and gained a few more seconds of life before she was obliterated. Vox Caelus had returned to Gothic from Solomon to complete the gravitational survey of Gothic and did not transit into Olympia to assist Covenant until September 10th. As soon as the wreck was detected, Vox Caelus transited back into Gothic and raised the alarm via the stable jump network.

High Admiral Lucien Verus assumed another Necron outpost had been discovered, although there was a chance it was an entirely new alien race. The Nostramo system, adjacent to Gothic and on the Aurelian Loop, had an imperial population of one million on the innermost world, making it an ideal location for a forward base. Nostramo-A I had acceptable temperature and gravity, plus a breathable atmosphere, but surface water was minimal, resulting in a colony cost of 1.90, and it had no mineral deposits. However, the adjacent Malagant system was home to the Imperium’s asteroid mining operation, with five huge Solomon class orbital mining stations, so minerals could be supplied if required. Even if Olympia was the site of a new Necron outpost, and posed no threat due to the Necrons’ apparent modus operandi, a base in Nostramo made sense. It would protect Malagant and boost the security of the Aurelian Loop in general, including the key mining colony on Aurelia I, plus it would provide a platform for the potentially valuable worlds in the systems surrounding Gothic. High Admiral Lucien dispatched a fleet, designated as Battlefleet Nostramo and comprising the Lunar II class cruiser Relentless, the Dauntless II class light cruisers Uziel and Vengeful Martyr, the Cobra II class destroyer Emperor’s Hand, the Firestorm II class frigate Vortex, the Sword II class frigate Valiant and the Falchion II class jump frigate Khopesh. This was not a particularly large fleet compared to those involved in action in Procyon or the fleet stationed at Endymion Base, but it was comparable in size to Battlefleet Gryphonne. Falchion took up station as a picket on the Gothic – Nostramo jump point while Vox Caelus was ordered to conduct a geological survey of the Solomon system.

Greyshroud was a red dwarf binary system with five planets, located three transits beyond Procyon via Sabatine and Ophidian and nine from Sol. Greyshroud-A I was a high-gravity terrestrial world, with a nitrogen-oxygen atmosphere of 1.52 atm, one percent of which was oxygen, and extensive liquid oceans. The temperature was 77C, although the impact on habitability was reduced as the planet was tide-locked. Greyshroud was discovered in November Y2513 as Imperial survey ships pushed out beyond Procyon and a gravitational survey was completed in October Y2514, revealing a total of seven jump points, including the entry point from Ophidian. The status of Gothic as the system with the second highest number of jump points was short-lived. All six new jump points were explored, but the results were far less promising than around Gothic. Only the Temperus system had a colony cost 2.00 world and that lacked water and atmosphere.
 
On October 20th, the jump frigate Falchion, still stationed on the Gothic – Nostramo jump point, detected six small, fast approaching thermal contacts at three million kilometres on a course that aligned with the Tyran jump point. Falchion engaged her active sensors and quickly determined the contacts were of three different classes, ranging from 750 tons to 775 tons, and were moving at over 12,000 km/s. The frigate’s tactical computers classified the ships as originating from a new alien race. One was designated as Zoanthrope class, two as Termagaunt class and the other three as Hormagaunt class. Falchion sent a warning through the jump point to Nostramo, where Battlefleet Nostramo was now on station, although no maintenance facilities or other installations were in place. Within seconds of the active sensors coming online, the alien ships reversed course and headed back toward the Tyran jump point.



Battlefleet Nostramo was under the command of Captain Ethan Gordian, holder of the Meritorious Service Medal and the Procyon Combat Ribbon. The seven ships of his command were in orbit of the colony on Nostramo I, awaiting the arrival of an Orion class support vessel that would provide fuel and maintenance supplies. On receiving the contact report from Falchion, he ordered his ships to the Gothic jump point.

Three days after the initial contact, Falchion detected active sensor emissions from two new Zoanthrope class ships at a range of forty-five million kilometres. As with the previous contacts, they were on a course from the Tyran jump point, which suggested that was the origin of the alien forces. As Covenant was destroyed in Olympia, that either meant the new aliens were present in two of the systems adjacent to Gothic, or two different alien races had been encountered in close proximity. Falchion hailed the approaching ships but there was no response. At five million kilometres, thirty-three alien ships were detected by thermal sensor, comprising twelve Termagaunts, six Hormagaunts, three Zoanthropes and twelve of a new type, designated as Genestealer class, which was of similar size to the others. This new force did not include any of the ships from the small group encountered three days previously. Falchion was armed with a pair of Astaroth Kinetics AK-20 weapons batteries and had relatively limited passive defences. If the approaching alien ships were hostile and armed, which seemed likely given their aggressive charge toward the jump point, it was unlikely she could prevail.



Commander Lexon Crassian, captain of the Falchion, requested permission to withdraw through the jump point from his immediate superior, Captain Ethan Gordian. While showing an enemy the location of a jump point was normally forbidden by standing regulations, the Gothic – Nostramo jump point was stabilised, which meant it could be detected by active sensors and therefore was already known to the Tyran aliens. Gordian gave permission and Falchion departed the Gothic system while the aliens were still more than four million kilometres away. Commander Crassian ordered his tactical officer to disengage active sensors. The aliens had been detected on thermal sensors before active, so there nothing to gain by giving them a beacon to follow. Unfortunately, the survey ship Vox Caelus was in the Solomon system and there was no way to relay a warning, as the Gothic – Solomon jump point was not stabilised.

Battlefleet Nostramo was still on course for the Gothic jump point, but two billion kilometres away. Given the number of ships and quick reaction of the new aliens, High Admiral Verus decided the threat was greater than first thought, especially when considering a million citizens of the Imperium were only one jump away from the alien armada. A powerful reinforcement fleet, more than twice the size of Battlefleet Nostramo, was assembled from the ships in orbit of Terra and dispatched to support the ships already in Nostramo.

1x Mars II class battlecruiser: Pax Imperium
1x Lunar II class cruiser: Retribution
1x Dictator class cruiser: Archon Kort
2x Dauntless II class light cruiser: Havock, Luxor
2x Endurance II class light cruiser: Ad Liberis, Bellator Stoicus
1x Cobra II class destroyer: Omnis Arcanum
1x Firestorm II class frigate: Liberator
2x Sword II class frigate: Sabre, Strident Virtue
20x Starhawk II class bomber

Falchion moved away from the Nostramo side of the jump point without incident and there was no sign of pursuit. Battlefleet Nostramo arrived six days after Falchion transited and took up a picket position on the Gothic jump point. Fourteen hours later, six small alien ships jumped into Nostramo and then vanished back into Gothic within a few seconds. The composition of the alien force was the same as that originally encountered by Falchion, although it contained six previously undetected ships. Forty-five different alien ships had been detected so far, none of which were larger than 775 tons, about fifty-five percent larger than a Starhawk bomber. If the aliens were hostile and had a similar torpedo-based armament to that of the Starhawk, it seemed likely they would have fired on Falchion, so Captain Gordian was inclined to believe they had an energy-based armament.

Four days after the brief appearance of the small alien squadron, a much more formidable fleet arrived. Eight alien ships used a squadron jump into Nostramo, arriving just over three hundred thousand kilometres from Battlefleet Nostramo. Three different alien classes were present. Four 9,282 ton ships were designated as Hive Guard class while three 18,447 ton ships, similar in size to Imperial light cruisers, were designated as Carnifex class. The centrepiece of the alien fleet was plainly the single Behemoth class, which at 111,351 tons was twice as large as an Imperial battlecruiser and out-massed Battlefleet Nostramo by itself. The reinforcements sent by High Admiral Verus were still in the Sol system, five jumps away. Captain Gordian ordered his ships to close the range immediately, while the aliens were still suffering from jump shock, and to concentrate fire on the Behemoth. Without that ship, Battlefleet Nostramo would be in a much more even engagement.



The alien fleet charged toward Battlefleet Nostramo on a converging course. The Lunar II class cruiser Relentless was first to fire, launching six standard torpedoes, then Relentless, the light cruisers Uziel and Vengeful Martyr and the frigate Vortex fired their lance batteries at just under two hundred thousand kilometres. The alien fleet immediately reversed course, moving away from Battlefleet Prometheus at over eight thousand kilometres per second. As the range opened to two hundred and fifteen thousand kilometres, the Behemoth and two of the Carnifex class ships returned fire with some form of energy weapon. Relentless was struck by three strength-14 and seven strength-6 impacts, reducing her void shields to fifty percent. Based on the enemy weapon fire, the Behemoth seemed be armed with three of the larger weapons while each Carnifex had two large weapons and nine smaller ones. Captain Gordian was extremely concerned about the power of the alien weapons, especially as they were causing significant damage from beyond the maximum range of Imperial energy weapons. Given the alien fleet was also twice as fast as Battlefleet Prometheus, it was very unlikely that the Imperial ships could inflict any damage at all unless the alien point defence was so weak that it could be penetrated by the torpedoes from Relentless. With no chance of success in Nostramo, Gordian decided that taking his fleet through the jump point into the Gothic system was the best option.

The frigates Khopesh, Vortex and Valiant split from the main fleet so they could conduct a squadron jump. The other four ships would be forced into a standard transit. Both groups came about and headed for the jump point. Meanwhile, the torpedoes from Relentless were all shot down by some form of energy-based point defence. The third Carnifex fired, scoring five strength-6 hits on Relentless and reducing her shields to thirty-four percent. Ten seconds later, the Imperial ships jumped into Gothic.

Waiting on the far side of the jump point were five Zoanthropes, twelve Hormagaunts, twelve Genestealers and sixteen Termagaunts. Relentless was immediately struck by a blizzard of weapon fire. The Hormagaunts fired an energy weapon that inflicted a strength-3 hit, while the Termagaunts had some form of microwave weapon that passed through armour and damaged electronic systems. The 36,000-ton cruiser lost her shields and every sensor and fire control on board was disabled. Even so, at least in Gothic there were hostile contacts within weapon range. Captain Gordian ordered his ships to stand and fight, although it would take some time for their weapons to recover from transit. Three Aquila class landers launched from Relentless, Uziel and Vengeful Martyr, adding their small lascannon to the fight.

Only five seconds passed before the swarm of small alien ships fired again. The light cruiser Uziel was hit hard, suffering many hits from the energy and microwave weapons. The microwave weapon inflicted strength-2 hits when it passed through armour, but strength-6 hits against intact shields. Uziel lost her shields and half of her electronic systems. The dozen Genestealer ships made a close pass on the cruiser Relentless and an estimated six hundred aliens attempted to launch a boarding attack. Given the relative speeds of the ships, the majority of the aliens were lost in the attempt but some made it on to her hull. Relentless and Uziel both prioritised repairs to their damaged fire controls.

The Genestealers transited the jump point into Nostramo, then the weapons on the remaining alien ships recycled again and Uziel lost her remaining fire controls and sensors. Her armour still had over eighty percent strength, and all her non-electronic systems were intact, but she was out of the fight. So far, no Imperial ship had recovered from the effects of transit. The alien ships continued firing on Uziel, with the next two volleys of energy weapons penetrating her armour. An engine hit caused a sudden, catastrophic overload, resulting in a strength-70 secondary explosion. Uziel was blown to pieces. The first warship casualty of the Imperial Navy. The frigate Vortex shook off the effects of transit and opened fire, scoring a single hit on a Termaguant with her weapon battery and three with her defence turret.
 
Vortex was joined a few seconds later by the jump frigate Khopesh, which attacked a second Termagaunt. The aliens turned their fire on the Dauntless II class light cruiser Vengeful Martyr, penetrating her armour and disabling most of her electronic systems, except for a single fire control. Captain Gordian considered ordering his fleet to transit once again, but the large alien warships remained on the far side. Valiant became the third Imperial ship to open fire, penetrating the armour of a Termaguant and apparently disabling its microwave weapon. Vengeful Martyr was struck again, losing the rest of its electronics and suffering damage to fuel and engineering systems.

The situation for Battlefleet Nostramo was dire. They couldn’t outrun the aliens and they couldn’t even get into range of the larger ships. The light cruiser Uziel was already destroyed. Her sister ship Vengeful Martyr and the 36,000-ton cruiser Relentless were both combat ineffective, while the destroyer Emperor’s Hand was still in jump shock. Only the frigates Valiant, Vortex and Khopesh were fighting back and their weapons were slower to recharge than the small alien craft. A volley from Vortex’s weapon batteries disabled a Termagaunt and she changed to another target. Vengeful Martyr continued to take fire, losing an engine, a shield generator and two weapon batteries.

The tactical officer on Relentless noted that the existing armour damage was increasing, despite the lack of incoming fire. It appeared the alien energy weapons had some form of acidic after effect that continued to cause damage after the initial impact. Vengeful Martyr was hit hard yet again, losing her two remaining engines and several weapon systems, yet her plight was at least keeping the alien fire away from the three Terran frigates, which continued to inflict whatever damage they could. A Termaguant exploded under fire from Khopesh. Two more Termaguant were damaged and out of the fight, but thirteen remained, along with a dozen Hormagaunts. The five Zoanthropes were not firing. Vengeful Martyr suffered volley after volley of alien fire and finally disintegrated under the onslaught.

Moment later, alien boarding parties penetrated the hull of Relentless. The aliens were hideous, multi-limbed and obviously bred for combat. They scuttled forward on a pair of hooved, backward-jointed legs. An upper pair of limbs served as curved, bladed weapons, while smaller, secondary limbs disgorged bolts of acid. The whole body was covered by a hard exoskeleton that would act as armour. Relentless had a crew of almost a thousand, thirty-one of which had been killed by the earlier alien attacks. They were armed only with light personal weapons and had no body armour. There were approximately one hundred and seventy alien warriors.

While the crew of Relentless prepared to repel boarders, the battle continued to rage around the damaged cruiser. The Firestorm II class frigate Vortex became the focus of the alien attack craft. Her shields and electronic systems were quickly disabled and she was battered by repeated energy impacts. Valiant destroyed another Termagaunt but the sheer weight of alien fire was overwhelming the Imperial ships. Vortex exploded twenty seconds after the first hit struck her shields. Valiant soon followed her into destruction, leaving only Khopesh and the landers still firing. The crew of Emperor’s Hand was desperately trying to get the destroyers torpedo launchers online. Three more alien volleys were sufficient to destroy Khopesh, then the three landers were each targeted by three alien craft and instantly obliterated. Emperor’s Hand began to take fire and soon lost her fire control and sensors, which ended the sensor feed that was being relayed through the gate to Imperium High Command. A few seconds later, all transmissions from the destroyer ceased.

The cruiser Relentless was the last Imperial Navy ship in the Gothic system. She was not under external fire, but the alien warriors were methodically working their way through the ship. The invading aliens were outnumbered almost six to one and came under sustained fire from the crew, but their armour was difficult to penetrate. In the first minute after the aliens blasted their way into the ship, the crew scored at least a hundred and eighty hits on the invaders. Three penetrated the alien armour but did not inflict mortal wounds. Twenty-six crew members were hit and all were killed. Despite their ineffectiveness of their weapons, the defiant crew fought for every inch of the ship, leaving behind a trail of bodies as they slowly retreated. After thirty minutes of brutal, close-quarters combat, during which five aliens were killed through a combination of luck and volume of fire, the last of the Imperial crew fell to the alien boarders.

The loss of Battlefleet Nostramo was a severe blow to the Imperium. However, the strategic consequences of a hostile, powerful and expansionist alien race in the Nostramo system were far worse. The Imperium’s orbital mining operation was based in the adjacent Malagant system and the five mining platforms would be more expensive to replace than the warships lost in Gothic. Malagant II had a population of one point two million. Two jumps further away was Aurelia, home to five million colonists, sixty mining complexes and ten terraforming stations and the planned location for one of the Imperium’s primary mining sites. Nostramo’s other jump point led to Valon, a planetless binary system through which all traffic to and from the Procyon chain had to pass. Procyon itself was two jumps from Valon via Herodor. If Valon was occupied by the aliens, Procyon and fourteen other systems would be cut off. Procyon was home to a colony of three million and retained all of the installations recovered from the alien ruins. It was protected by six warships plus Imperial Guard formations, but those would not be enough to withstand the same forces encountered by Battlefleet Nostramo. The worst case scenario was an alien advance through Valon and Arconar, which would cut off the Damocles colony of two point six million and threaten the very heart of the Imperium.

Given the grave threat, High Admiral Verus decided the Imperium would temporarily adopt a strategic defensive posture until it had forces capable of meeting the aliens on more equal terms. The mining platforms and colonists would be removed from Malagant, if that could be done before any alien ships arrived, and as many colonists and installations as possible would be evacuated from Procyon while the Valon route remained open. Fortunately, the Herodor and Arconar jump points in Valon were less than four hundred million kilometres apart and on the far side of the primary from the Nostramo jump point.

There was little that could be done for the one million colonists in Nostramo or the Imperial Guard regiment assigned to the colony. The survey ship Vox Caelus was in the Solomon system, beyond Gothic, and out of contact, while the survey ships Ascension Tertius and Quaesitor were both in systems beyond Greyshroud in the Procyon chain. A jump frigate was dispatched to alert the latter two ships but there was no way to warn Vox Caelus. The reinforcements en route to Nostramo were ordered to return to Terra.

On November 4th, the jump frigate Falchion, the first ship to encounter the aliens, transited from Nostramo into Valon and took up a picket position on the Nostramo jump point. Two days later, a force of eleven of the alien fast attack craft, a mixture of Hormagaunts, Termagaunts and Zoanthropes, was detected in Nostramo’s inner system, thirty-eight million kilometres from the Imperial colony on Nostramo I. The aliens were on a direct course for the colony and seem to be ignoring a slow-moving Orion class support vessel moving past the inner system as it attempted to escape through the Valon jump point. The attack craft moved into orbit of Nostramo I and held position, allowing the Orion to transit safely and apparently without detection.



On November 13th, the small fleet of attack craft left orbit of the colony on a direct course for the Malagant jump point. High Admiral Verus was shocked at how quickly the aliens were advancing. It was only eleven days since the destruction of Battlefleet Nostramo. Based on the movement of the attack craft, the aliens had already identified a new jump point. The tugs and colony ships dispatched to the rescue of the mining platforms and colonists in Malagant were not even out of the Sol system. It was possible the aliens had already begun an immediate survey of Nostramo and had started that survey in the vicinity of the Malagant jump point. However, Verus considered a different explanation was more likely. The Malagant jump point was almost mid-way between the Gothic jump point and the inner system. As the jump point had been stabilised, an alien force moving between those two locations might detect the stabilised jump point on active sensors.

A day later that theory was supported by new evidence. Two ships of a new type, designated as Tervigon class, were detected on a course towards the colony from the Gothic jump point at a speed of 7800 km/s. The lone tracking station on the Nostramo colony could detect the ships at almost half a billion kilometres, due to their strength-15,000 thermal signatures, more than triple the signature of an Overlord class battlecruiser. As the ships drew closer, a Carnifex and two Hive Guards were also detected. These were different ships to those of the same classes that accompanied the Behemoth class in the initial assault on Nostramo. This alien race was a formidable foe, both in terms of technology and the size of the forces it had brought to bear at short notice.



As soon as the five ships moved into orbit, the Tervigons dropped alien ground forces to attack the colony. The defending force was a the 1st Nostramo Regiment, an Imperial Guard formation with two thousand four hundred guardsmen armed with the MK II Lasgun, one hundred and twenty Chimera light vehicles armed with crew-served anti-personnel weapons, sixty anti-vehicle Lascannons and a dozen Hydra flak platforms. Supporting elements included the regimental headquarters, thirty-six supply vehicles and two Vox Caster units with no ships to contact. The alien assault force comprised four thousand of the same warriors that captured the Relentless, supported by several hundred much larger creatures of three different types. The Ravener was a monstrous, snake-like creature with an upright, six-limbed humanoid torso. All the arms were bladed and two included rapid-fire versions of the warriors’ acid projectors, while the entire body was covered in thick, overlapping scales that acted as armour. The Reaper was the size of a Leman Russ battle tank and resembled a giant ankylosaur. Two horn-like protrusions at its shoulders fired dense bolts of acid appeared to be the alien equivalent of anti-tank weapons. Finally, the Biovore, a four-legged creature almost as large as the Reaper that could rear up on its hind legs to direct two large acid projectors. The defenders of the colony believed it was intended to engage aircraft, although it was lethally effective against ground forces too.

The 1st Nostramo Regiment was completely overwhelmed. The aliens outnumbered the defenders and were far more effective in combat. The regiment lost half its strength in the first six hours of combat and inflicted only six casualties on the aliens, all of which were warriors. The larger creatures were virtually impervious to fire. Only seven weapon impacts penetrated their armour and none of the wounds were fatal. The devastating firepower of the alien invaders inflicted massive collateral damage, with four hundred thousand dead and considerable damage caused to the infrastructure keeping the rest of the population alive. After a further six hours, the battle was over. Every guardsman was dead and every vehicle destroyed. Almost eighty percent of the population had been wiped out and the remnants of the infrastructure could support barely half of the remaining two hundred and thirty thousand colonists. The alien forces occupied the colony but seemed completely uninterested in the human survivors. They formed up close to the deep space tracking station that had somehow remained intact.

A month after the invasion, the Behemoth class ship moved into orbit. A beam similar to a tractor locked on to the tracking station and the remaining infrastructure. The installations gradually disintegrated as they were converted into some form of energy that streamed back to the ship. Nostramo I had a breathable atmosphere and the temperature of -6C was just within the habitable range, but there was virtually no water on the planet, resulting in a colony cost of 1.90. Without infrastructure, the estimated death rate for the colonists was close to fifty percent per year. In space, the last of the life pods from the ships of Battlefleet Nostramo finally expired. The aliens had shown as little interest in the pods as they did in the colonists.

In late December, five Tugs arrived in the Malagant system and began towing the orbital mining platforms toward the Asteroth jump point. There had been great concern that the small alien fleet heading for the Nostramo – Malagant jump point would scout the system and detect the five 128,000-ton space stations, so the mining crews were extremely relieved at the arrival of the Goliath class ships. There was still a colony of one point two million on Malagant II and colony ships were en route to evacuate the settlers.

Despite the rapidly growing threat in the systems around Nostramo, normal life continued in most of the Imperium. Eighteen new systems, including those surrounding Gothic and Greyshroud, were discovered by Imperial survey frigates. In two of those system, Sanctum and Persepolis, planets were discovered with the potential to become future centres of Imperial research. Sanctum-A I was close enough to the system primary to study the highly unusual radiation emissions from the red dwarf star, something that Imperial scientists believed would greatly assist their research into power and propulsion technologies. Persepolis-A II was home to an ancient alien installation dedicated to production research. Both sites would boost scientific progress in their respective fields by around eighty percent. Neither world was particularly hospitable, although both had sufficient water. Persepolis was the better terraforming prospect, with a nitrogen-methane atmosphere of 0.19 atm and a surface temperature of -44C. The methane would have to be removed but was less than ten percent of the atmosphere.

A Lagrange point was stabilised in the Alpha Centauri-A system, providing much easier access to the twenty fuel harvesting platforms in orbit of Alpha Centauri-B II, a superjovian with accessibility 1.0 Sorium. Approximately thirty percent of the gaseous Sorium had already been extracted so consideration was being given to the future site of the Empire’s fuel production. There were no other accessibility 1.0 gas giants in known space, so the best options were Athena III and Prospero V, both of which had several hundred million tons of accessibility 0.9 Sorium and were located in systems with major Imperial colonies.

The Centaurus Colony on the seventeenth moon of Alpha Centauri-A III continued to develop and would be a vital production hub in the future. The population reached fifty-one million by the end of Y2514 and the colony was home to one hundred and fifty-five mines, forty-five fuel refineries, fifteen maintenance facilities and a spaceport. The Trajan Iron Works shipyard, tooled to build Tempest-J survey frigates, was towed from Terra to the colony, joining the Amon Shipyard which arrived in Y2509 and continued to build Ambrosia class fuel harvester platforms.

The evacuation of Procyon was not yet underway at the end of Y2514 as the colony ships and freighters heading for the system were still en route. A Phoenix class salvage ship in the system began work on the wrecks in orbit of the colony, as High Admiral Verus did not want to leave anything of value behind. With no freighters on hand, the Phoenix transferred components and minerals directly from the wreckage to the planet. The first wreck, A Dirge class, was salvaged on December 30th, resulting in the recovery of a torpedo fire control system, a thermal sensor and three torpedo launchers. A small amount of technical data on active sensors was also recovered.

New ship construction in Y2514 comprised the Dauntless II class light cruiser Havock, the Tempest-J class survey frigate Vox Caelus, a Goliath class tug, a Jericho class colony ship, four Universe class mass conveyors, two Phoenix class Salvage ships, a Carrack class freighter, two Gaia class terraforming stations, two Ambrosia class fuel harvesting platforms and two Solomon class orbital mining platforms. A Stargate class station was refitted to a Gateway class Stabilisation Ship. No further warships were under construction as the Imperial Navy was waiting for technologies to be developed, although three Dauntless II class light cruisers and two Firestorm II class frigates were being refitted with the new Particle Lance and would be ready by February Y2515.

The focus of the Imperium was now entirely on the new aliens that apparently originated in the Tyran system. With that in mind, they were officially named the Tyranids. The short-term objectives for the Imperium were to evacuate the systems closest to the invasion and to find some way of monitoring the alien progress without sacrificing ships. The medium term objective was to develop new technology and more capable ships that could stand a fighting chance against the overwhelming power of the Tyranids. Pushing them back and discovering their origin could only be contemplated as a long-term objective.

Offline Steve Walmsley (OP)

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Re: Crusade - Updates
« Reply #7 on: November 20, 2019, 01:19:26 PM »
Only a short update this time...

Y2515
In the first half of T2515 Imperial efforts were concentrated on the evacuation of Malagant and Procyon. The former system was in immediate danger as it was adjacent to the Tyranid forces in Nostramo and there was some evidence that the Tyranids were aware of the Nostramo – Malagant jump point. A million colonists were transported to Alpha Centauri, although civilian shipping actually took a small number in the opposite direction. Not everyone believed the tales of death and destruction on the frontier. The mining platforms were all towed from Malagant to Gryphonne and small Carrack class freighters removed both mass drivers, the single tracking station and the remaining mineral stockpiles from the system.

Evacuating Procyon was a much larger operation. Although the system was three jumps from Nostramo and therefore in less immediate danger, a Tyranid move through the Nostramo - Valon jump point would cut off the Procyon chain. Three million colonists were moved from Procyon I to the Athena colony, while four Imperial Guard regiments and nine smaller formations were all transported safely to Earth. A convoy of Universe class mass conveyors removed all of the installations recovered from the alien ruins. The two survey ships operating deeper in the Procyon chain were both contacted and ordered to retreat. Unfortunately, the survey ship Vox Caelus, which was operating in the Gothic cluster beyond Nostramo, was intercepted and destroyed by Tyranid forces as she tried to return home. The only ships still active in Procyon were a Phoenix class salvage ship and a pair of supporting freighters, working on the Necron wrecks in the system.

In April, terraforming efforts at the Athena colony resulted in the huge ice caps melting, raising the temperature to 8C and transforming the planet into an ideal habitable world; the fourth in the Empire after Sol, Centaurus Colony and Endymion Base. As a result of the years-long terraforming process, the dominant terrain type changed from Tundra to Steppe. Two months later, the terraforming of Caliban III, located three jumps beyond Alpha Centauri, reached the same stage, creating the Imperium’s fifth ideal habitable world. A small colony was established shortly before the terraforming operation was completed.

Caliban-A III Survey Report
Duranium:   5,056,200   0.80
Neutronium:   8,643,600   0.20
Tritanium:   5,616,900   0.10
Boronide:   8,643,600   0.10
Mercassium:   3,459,600   0.10
Vendarite:   1,742,400   0.20
Uridium:   4,665,600   0.10
Corundium:   324,900   0.40
Gallicite:   8,294,400   0.10

On May 29th the Scarus System was discovered eight transits from Sol via Hesperus, Arcadia, AD Leonis, Golgotha, Ardium, Van Maanen’s Star and Sanctum. A geological survey revealed significant accessible deposits of ten different minerals on Scarus-A IV, a colony cost 2.00 dwarf planet without water or atmosphere. With a diameter of two thousand four hundred kilometres the planet would be relatively easy to terraform and would make an excellent mining location. As the mining colony in Aurelia was in the path of the advancing Tyranids, Scarus-A IV would become the replacement source of the Imperium’s Duranium, Neutronium and Corundium. A survey of the fifth moon of Scarus VIII also revealed large, accessible deposits of ten minerals, although with a temperature of -200C and a colony cost of 7.83, it would be much harder to exploit.

Scarus-A IV Survey Report
Duranium:   839,808   0.90
Neutronium:   278,784   0.70
Corbomite:   1,192,464   0.70
Tritanium:   646,416   0.60
Boronide:   3,600   0.70
Vendarite:   501,264   0.60
Sorium:   374,544   0.60
Uridium:   41,616   0.50
Corundium:   435,600   1.00
Gallicite:   20,736   0.80

Scarus-A VIII – Moon 5 Survey Report
Duranium:   238,050   0.80
Neutronium:   230,400   0.40
Corbomite:   81,225   0.40
Tritanium:   22,500   0.60
Boronide:   632,025   0.30
Mercassium:   90,000   0.90
Vendarite:   1,742,400   0.40
Sorium:   230,400   0.60
Uridium:   497,025   0.30
Gallicite:   152,100   0.90

In June Y2515, Imperium scientists completed their research into magneto-plasma engine technology. Work on new engine designs required several months, after which several shipyards began retooling for a series of new ship classes. Unfortunately, the Imperium was not given time to begin a major refit program. On November 25th the deep space tracking station at the Taranis Colony detected nine Tyranid attack craft; six Hormagaunts and three Termagaunts. The colony had a population of twelve million and was a key mining site for the Imperium, with one hundred and eighteen mines already in place. The Taranis system was far away from the known location of the Tyranid forces around Gothic and Nostramo and only two jumps from the Sol system, via Alpha Centauri. Alpha Centauri itself was the Imperium’s second most important system. The Centaurus colony had a population of fifty-five million and was home to two shipyards and close to 300 installations. Alpha Centauri was also the location of six civilian mining colonies with a total of thirty-one civilian mining complexes and home to all twenty-two fuel harvesting platforms.



Shortly after the initial contact, two Zoanthropes were also detected. The eleven Tyranid craft headed for Taranis I on a course that did not line up precisely with any of the system’s four jump points, although it was close to the direction of the Galen jump point. Taranis had four jump points, leading to Alpha Centauri, Baal, Galen and Typhon. Typhon was a cul-de-sac system, Galen was the first of a chain of three planetless systems, ending in Lavantia which had yet to be surveyed. Baal was also planetless and led to six other systems, three of which were not surveyed. It was also possible the Tyranids had entered Taranis through a previously dormant jump point.  After remaining in orbit of Taranis I for a couple of hours, the alien ships moved into orbit of the Imperial colony on Taranis II. As in Nostramo, they made no attempt to attack the colony, which probably meant it would become the target of a ground invasion. There were no Imperial ground forces at the colony.

After an urgent meeting with the Emperor, High Admiral Verus declared there would be no retreat from Taranis. With Alpha Centauri next door and Sol two jumps away, the Imperium had to stand its ground regardless of the alien technological advantages. Based on the experience of the initial engagement in Nostramo, Verus knew a beam engagement could not be won against the larger alien ships, which had the longer-ranged weapons and higher speed than their Imperial counterparts, and even a close-range engagement against the fast attack craft would be difficult without far superior numbers due to the Tyranid microwave weapons. The only realistic route to victory would be through torpedo attack. Verus ordered every torpedo-armed ship in the Imperium to head for Alpha Centauri, including those warships carrying Starhawk bombers.

Battlefleet Terra immediately departed Earth orbit with all four battlecruisers, four Lunar II class cruisers, eleven light cruisers and ten smaller vessels. Not all of the ships had torpedo launchers or Starhawks but as they were within two transits anyway, Verus decided to bring them to defend against attack craft. Only eleven warships remained in Terra orbit, seven of which were jump-capable and had therefore had limited armament while the other four were undergoing refit to the new magneto-plasma drive engines. Most of Battlefleet Prometheus headed for Sol to refuel before moving to the front lines, along with two ships from Battlefleet Gryphonne and the Cobra II class destroyers from several frigate squadrons.

On December 5th, the Tyranid fast attack craft moved away from Taranis toward the outer system in the direction from which they arrived. High Admiral Verus considered sending in freighters to remove the mining complexes and colony ships to rescue the settlers, although it would be risky given the speed of the Tyranids and minimal warning when they arrived. The closest freighters and colony ships would also require several weeks to arrive. Nevertheless, he gave the orders. Eight days later, the Centaurus frigate squadron, comprising a Sword II class frigate, a Firestorm II class frigate and a Cobra II class destroyer, arrived in Taranis. Verus ordered it to remain at the Alpha Centauri jump point.

On December 20th, the tracking station at the Taranis colony detected the same two Tervigon class ships that had launched ground forces against the Nostramo colony. They were on the same heading as the attack craft that had departed two weeks previously. Battlefleet Terra transited into Taranis seventeen hours later, with the Tervigons and a recently detected Carnifex less than two hundred million kilometres from the colony. The jump point was two billion kilometres from Taranis II so Battlefleet Terra could not intercept in time. Battlefleet Prometheus and the other reinforcements were weeks away.

Battlefleet Terra was under the command of Captain Sicarius Ventris, commander of the battlecruiser Resolute and recipient of the Silver Star for his actions in the Battle of Procyon. Ventris ordered all his ships to engage active sensors and raise shields in an attempt to distract the hostile ships from their mission. There was no reaction from the Tyranids. Either their sensors could not detect Battlefleet Terra due to the great distance involved or they simply didn’t care. The Tervigons, accompanied by the Carnifex and two smaller Hive Guard class ships that appeared on sensors as the range fell, moved into orbit of Taranis II and dropped their troops. The colony quickly surrendered. Twelve million citizens of the Imperium, a deep space tracking station and one hundred and eighteen mining complexes were now in the hands of the Tyranids.

Battlefleet Terra moved back to the jump point and refuelled from a tanker that had just transited, then waited for the reinforcements to arrive before trying to engage the enemy. Without the tracking station at the colony, there was no way to know the size of the Tyranid forces in the system, so High Admiral Verus wanted a strong as force as possible before he allowed Captain Ventris to venture too far from the jump point. Verus also ruled out a ground invasion as part of the Imperial counterattack, at least for the moment. Given the massive collateral damage caused by the ground battle at the Nostramo colony, any ‘successful’ invasion would probably destroy the colony. Besides, how to remove the alien ground forces was a problem that could only be addressed once the system was secured and that was by no means certain. High Admiral Verus knew that with the bulk of the entire Imperial Navy committed to the forthcoming battle, the fight for Taranis would decide the fate of the Imperium.
 
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Offline Steve Walmsley (OP)

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Re: Crusade - Updates
« Reply #8 on: December 06, 2019, 04:29:20 PM »
Y2516
On the fifth of January, the survey frigate Constantia arrived in Taranis. Captain Ventris ordered her captain, Commander Ignatius Varvanus, to take his ship to the area around the Galen jump point and check for a previously undetected jump point that had recently ended its dormant phase. Ten days later, Battlefleet Prometheus, minus the three frigates left at Endymion Base, arrived in Taranis and joined Battlefleet Terra. By this point, Battlefleet Terra had also been reinforced by three Cobra class destroyers detached from various frigate squadrons. The combined force massed nine hundred and sixty thousand tons and comprised four battlecruisers, nine cruisers, fifteen light cruisers, sixteen escort-class vessels and fifty-six Starhawk bombers. The fleet was refuelled by a newly arrived tanker.

Captain Gaius Caliban, Victor of Procyon and holder of the Macharian Cross, had arrived with Battlefleet Prometheus and was now the senior officer in the system. On his command, Battlefleet Terra proceeded to the inner system, arriving in orbit of Taranis I on January 21st. There was no sign of the Tyranid troop transports. Three days later, the eleven Tyranid fast attack craft that had visited the system in November Y2515, returned and moved into orbit of the ex-Imperial colony on Taranis II, apparently ignoring the Imperial fleet sixteen million kilometres from their position.



Captain Caliban ordered the fleet to close and attack with shipboard torpedo launchers. The maximum range against such small targets was less than one point three million kilometres. As the Imperial ships drew closer, the Tyranids attack craft held their position in orbit of the fallen colony. A single wave of standard torpedoes was launched, with six torpedoes directed against each enemy ship. As the standard torpedo had a speed of 20,400 km/s and the alien attack craft all had maximum speeds in excess of 12,000 km/s, the chance of a hit was low even without hostile point defence. Eight targets were struck with a total of twelve torpedoes. There was no point defence fire. Eight attack craft immediately broke orbit and headed for Battlefleet Terra at maximum speed, leaving three more, apparently disabled, in orbit of Taranis II. Caliban ordered the fleet to retreat and hold the range open as long as possible. Given the lack of point defence, He also ordered his torpedo-armed ships to fire a second salvo against the same targets, launching when ready rather than waiting for a concentrated salvo. No further torpedoes would be launched as the Imperium had a very limited supply of ordnance. Any survivors would be engaged by energy weapons.



The closest eight ships suffered another twelve hits, enough to disable two of them. The other six remained at full speed. Five of the Imperial warships were armed with the recently developed Particle Lance; the only ships that were refitted before the new crisis began. The three Dauntless III and two Firestorm III class ships did not have the new engines and were an interim design for test purposes. The imminent clash would be the first combat test for the new weapon.

Dauntless III class Light Cruiser      18,000 tons       520 Crew       3,026.7 BP       TCS 360    TH 1,440    EM 2,970
4000 km/s      Armour 5-61       Shields 99-330       HTK 118      Sensors 6/8/0/0      DCR 12      PPV 90.32
Maint Life 2.38 Years     MSP 1,261    AFR 216%    IFR 3.0%    1YR 305    5YR 4,570    Max Repair 284.7 MSP
Commander    Control Rating 2   BRG   AUX   
Intended Deployment Time: 16 months    Morale Check Required   

Ravenor Drive Systems RDS-480 Ion Drive (3)    Power 1440    Fuel Use 35.00%    Signature 480    Explosion 10%
Fuel Capacity 810,000 Litres    Range 23.1 billion km (66 days at full power)
Valentinian-Stern VS-33 Void Shield (3)     Recharge Time 330 seconds (0.3 per second)

Dominus-Varnus Defence Systems DV-2 Defence Turret (1x6)    Range 30,000km     TS: 16000 km/s     Power 0-0     RM 30,000 km    ROF 5       
Valentinian Precision Armaments V12-240 Particle Lance (2)    Range 240,000km     TS: 4,000 km/s     Power 37-5    ROF 40       
Astaroth Kinetics AK-20 Weapons Battery (6x4)    Range 160,000km     TS: 4,000 km/s     Accuracy Modifier 100%     RM 40,000 km    ROF 15       
MK I Defence Turret Fire Control (1)     Max Range: 64,000 km   TS: 16,000 km/s     84 69 53 38 22 6 0 0 0 0
MK I Energy Weapon Fire Control (2)     Max Range: 256,000 km   TS: 4,000 km/s     96 92 88 84 80 77 73 69 65 61
R17 Stellarator Fusion Reactor (2)     Total Power Output 34    Exp 5%

MK I Light Cruiser Active Augur Array (1)     GPS 11520     Range 77.1m km    Resolution 120
MK I Torpedo Detection Array (1)     GPS 16     Range 6.4m km    MCR 695.1k km    Resolution 1
MK I Electromagnetic Augur Array (1)     Sensitivity 8     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  22.4m km
MK I Thermal Augur Array (1)     Sensitivity 6     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  19.4m km

Firestorm III class Frigate      7,500 tons       225 Crew       1,344.4 BP       TCS 150    TH 600    EM 990
4000 km/s      Armour 3-34       Shields 33-330       HTK 56      Sensors 6/0/0/0      DCR 4      PPV 38.4
Maint Life 2.28 Years     MSP 448    AFR 112%    IFR 1.6%    1YR 117    5YR 1,752    Max Repair 284.7 MSP
Commander    Control Rating 1   BRG   
Intended Deployment Time: 15 months    Morale Check Required   

Ravenor Drive Systems RDS-300 Ion Drive (2)    Power 600    Fuel Use 44.27%    Signature 300    Explosion 10%
Fuel Capacity 415,000 Litres    Range 22.5 billion km (65 days at full power)
Valentinian-Stern VS-33 Void Shield (1)     Recharge Time 330 seconds (0.1 per second)

Dominus-Varnus Defence Systems DV-1 Defence Turret (1x3)    Range 30,000km     TS: 16000 km/s     Power 0-0     RM 30,000 km    ROF 5       
Astaroth Kinetics AK-20 Weapons Battery (2x4)    Range 160,000km     TS: 4,000 km/s     Accuracy Modifier 100%     RM 40,000 km    ROF 15       
Valentinian Precision Armaments V12-240 Particle Lance (1)    Range 240,000km     TS: 4,000 km/s     Power 37-5    ROF 40       
MK I Defence Turret Fire Control (1)     Max Range: 64,000 km   TS: 16,000 km/s     84 69 53 38 22 6 0 0 0 0
MK I Energy Weapon Fire Control (2)     Max Range: 256,000 km   TS: 4,000 km/s     96 92 88 84 80 77 73 69 65 61
R7 Stellarator Fusion Reactor (2)     Total Power Output 13.8    Exp 5%

MK I Frigate Active Augur Array (1)     GPS 4800     Range 51.3m km    Resolution 100
MK I Small Torpedo Detection Array (1)     GPS 4     Range 2.9m km    MCR 310.9k km    Resolution 1
MK I Thermal Augur Array (1)     Sensitivity 6     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  19.4m km

Before the mobile attack craft could enter range, the three Tyranids ships still in orbit of Taranis II were struck by the second wave torpedoes and destroyed. They were far easier to hit as stationary target. Particle Lances on the Dauntless IIIs opened fire at 220,000 kilometres without scoring a hit. Every other lance battery in the fleet fired at 178,000 kilometres, inflicting seven strength-4 hits. Two attack craft were left dead in space. At 136,000 kilometres, the massed weapon batteries of Battlefleet Terra opened fire. Fifty-six strength-1 hits were scored, disabling two more attack craft, along with a strength-12 particle lance strike from the frigate Harrower that skewered a Hormagaunt and blew it to pieces. The cruiser Justicar was struck once, causing minor shield damage. The final three mobile attack craft made it to 54,000 kilometres before being destroyed by massed energy weapon fire. Given the total firepower of Battlefleet Terra, it was concerning they made it that far. The fleet reversed course again and picked off the Tyranid cripples. 

Two days after the engagement, a new and much larger force of Tyranid attack craft was detected heading for the inner system; thirty Hormagaunts, ten Termagaunts and four Zoanthropes. None of these ships had been detected before. Captain Caliban had discussed the strategic situation with High Admiral Verus while Battlefleet Prometheus refuelled at Terra and both agreed the primary threat was the larger Tyranid ships. While the attack craft were dangerous and hard to kill, they at least had to come within weapon range. The Behemoth and Carnifex class ships could wipe out an entire fleet by staying out of range and using their heavy energy weapons. Therefore, Caliban did not want to expend too many torpedoes on ships that presented a lesser, if still substantial, threat.



On the other hand, while the Starhawk bombers could deliver a long-range strike, they were actually slower than even the larger alien ships so it was unlikely they would deliver multiple strikes in a single battle. Therefore, Caliban decided to launch a single wave from his shipboard launchers, targeting all ten Termagaunts and four of the Hormagaunts with six torpedoes each, then use his Starhawks to launch a single follow-up wave of six hundred and seventy-two light torpedoes, with the targets dependent on the result of the first wave. The remaining attack craft would be engaged with energy weapons as they closed. The Termagaunts were the priority target due to their microwave-based weapons.

Ten targets were hit by eighteen standard torpedoes with strength-9 warheads. Three Termagaunts were disabled but none destroyed. Every mobile target struck by the first wave, plus an extra Hormagaunt, was targeted by the twelve light torpedoes of a single Starhawk. Twenty-four Hormagaunts were each targeted by two Starhawks. Due to the shorter range of the Starhawk torpedo fire controls, the wave of light torpedoes was launched when the range fell to 625,000 kilometres. One hundred and forty-five strength-4 warheads struck their targets. Only four attack craft fell out of formation, leaving thirty-seven still closing. Battlefleet Terra prepared for an energy-range engagement.

The particle lances opened fire at 220,000 kilometres. The light cruiser Divine Crusade scored a single hit and a Hormagaunt fell out of formation. Captain Caliban resolved in future to hold the particle lance fire until the targets were closer. They were effective when they hit, but the long range and high target speed was significantly reducing their effectiveness. As they only fired every forty seconds, a lifetime in a close-range engagement, he wanted to achieve the maximum results when they did fire. The standard lance batteries scored six strength-4 hits at 174,000 kilometres, without disabling any more targets. Return fire from the Tyranids inflicted nine strength-1 hits on the Lunar II class cruiser Justicar. As the cruiser was likely to be the target of further attacks, Captain Caliban, ordered her commander, Captain Maxima Bale, to start firing her torpedoes. The worst of all worlds would be to lose torpedoes that were still in their magazines.

Five seconds later, with the range at 133,000 kilometres, Battlefleet Terra opened fire with weapon batteries, inflicting one hundred and forty-one strength-1 hits. Only one Tyranid attack craft fell out of formation. Considering their small size, they were incredibly tough. Return fire was eleven strength-1 hits, reducing Justicar’s void shields to eighty-nine percent. The Tyranid weapons recharged much faster than their Imperial counterparts, with a cycle time of five second compared to fifteen for weapon batteries and twenty for lance batteries. The cruiser’s shields were struck again, falling to eighty-two percent. As the range fell to only fifty thousand kilometres, they were still thirty-four Tyranid attack craft closing at full speed. All the firepower of Battlefleet Terra had so far only been sufficient to disable ten attack craft. None had been destroyed. The Tyranid weapons improved rapidly in effectiveness as the range fell and Justicar was hit much harder, with her shields down to fifty percent.

Finally, just as Gaius Caliban experienced a kernel of doubt beginning to grow, the tide turned. The Tyranid attack craft moved to eleven thousand kilometres as Battlefleet Terra’s weapon batteries and lance batteries completed their recharging cycles. The fleet’s defence turrets were also within their thirty thousand kilometre maximum range. An overwhelming blizzard of fire engulfed the alien horde, inflicting more than five hundred hits, more than half of them strength-4 and the rest strength-1. Twenty-one Tyranid attack craft were blown to pieces. Counter-fire was directed at Justicar once again and her shields were at nineteen percent. Another seven attack craft died in the next few seconds. The defence turrets, intended as anti-torpedo weapons, were designed to track targets even faster than the Tyranids and had a high rate of fire. They tore through the already damaged alien craft. The four Zoanthropes, which had not been attacked as they were assumed to be scout craft, and the final two Hormagaunts, all tried to ram, fortunately without success. All six were quickly eliminated.

The swift conclusion to the battle was gratifying for the Imperial forces. The Tyranids had assumed an almost mythical aura of invincibility among many Terran officers and crewman. To see the Tyranid ships obliterated by a wall of Imperial fire shattered that aura and boosted Imperial morale. Battlefleet Terra picked off the Tyranid cripples with long-range lance fire then resumed its position in the inner system to await the enemy’s next move. In the outer system, the survey frigate Constantia continued its search for a jump point. Four days passed without incident, then the active sensor emissions of two Zoanthropes were detected heading in-system.



Battlefleet Terra moved to intercept and detected another force of fast attack craft, this time comprising six Hormagaunts, nine Termagaunts and three Zoanthropes, all of which had been detected previously in the engagements in Gothic and Nostramo. The Tyranids seemed determined to protect their new colony, but were committing their forces piecemeal; unless this was simply a tactic to wear down Battlefleet Terra before the arrival of their main force. Captain Caliban ordered a single wave of ship-launched torpedoes, with six launched against each Termagaunt and all but one Hormagaunt. As with previous engagements, this was an attempt to wear down the enemy, rather than a serious attempt to destroy them. Seventeen torpedoes hit. One Tyranid attack craft disintegrated in a huge secondary explosion and three more were left dead in space. The remaining fourteen continued to close. As with the previous wave, the attack craft inflicted shield damage, on this occasion to the battlecruiser Pax Imperium, before melting away in the face of massed fire weapon batteries.

Captain Caliban was aware his task force out-massed the total of all three Tyranid attacks by almost twenty-to one and, in hindsight, realised he probably did not need to expend Battlefleet Terra’s torpedoes, even in the limited quantities he had. Even so, he knew the fleet’s morale would be boosted by the three quick and cost-free victories. However, despite those victories, the threat remained high. The real danger was the Tyranid Behemoth and the Carnifex class cruisers, which had yet to make an appearance in Taranis. The Imperium could only keep Battlefleet Terra in the system for a limited amount of time before maintenance concerns forced a return to the Sol system, at which point Alpha Centauri became vulnerable. The battle against the most powerful alien forces had to fought soon or the short-term successes might be rendered meaningless.

A secondary concern was the fate of the Taranis Colony. Twelve million colonists and over a hundred mining complexes were under alien occupation. A ground invasion could be mounted now that the Imperium had control of the system, yet the casualties involved would be considerable. The alien forces that now occupied the colony wiped out an entire Imperial Guard regiment in twelve hours while suffering minimal losses. With six Cetaceus class troop transports in service, the Imperium could land an invasion force of twenty Imperial Guard regiments and six armoured regiments, supported by orbital bombardment. That force would inflict more damage than the single regiment on Nostramo, but it was no means certain it would prevail, especially against the larger Tyranid creatures. Even if it was successful, the collateral damage would probably destroy the colony anyway.

A final consideration was the million-ton deposit of accessibility 0.7 Gallicite on Taranis II. Until the Tyranid invasion that was the primary source of Gallicite for the Imperium. The only other large Gallicite deposit that was both accessible to manned mines and located on the same world as a substantial Duranium deposit was at the recent colony on the third moon of Gryphonne II and that was only accessibility 0.5, plus the moon was still being terraformed. After a difficult conversation between the Emperor and High Admiral Verus, they reached the conclusion that removing the Tyranids from Taranis II was more important than the fate of the colonists, the recovery of the industry or the short-term environmental consequences. Humanity faced an existential crisis and had to act accordingly. If the planet could not be liberated without massive damage in any scenario, it would be better to bombard the alien forces from orbit to reduce their numbers substantially before sending in a ground invasion. Captain Caliban was instructed to use his ships’ weapon batteries to attack the Tyranid ground forces, regardless of Imperial civilian casualties.

Gaius Caliban was a loyal officer, so despite his personal reservations he ordered all warships of light cruiser size and above to open fire on the surface. After just two volleys he ordered them to cease fire. Over a thousand craters scarred the surface, mainly from strength-4 impacts. The best estimate of his tactical officers was that while they had killed a handful of Tyranids, the civilian casualties were in excess of two million and around forty installations had been destroyed. The amount of dust thrown into the atmosphere was sufficient to reduce the temperature by almost two degrees. It was already clear that the firepower required to wipe out the invaders using area bombardment would render the planet completely uninhabitable.  However, as a result of examining the ground forces signature during the attack, Imperial Intelligence observed that the signature seemed too low for the same total force that attacked Nostramo. In fact, it was a little less than half what had been expected.

Ultimately, the strategic value of Taranis II lay in the Duranium and Gallicite deposits and if those could not be mined, that value was lost. After hearing Captain Caliban’s report on the ineffectiveness of bombardment and the estimate that the Tyranid had a smaller force than previously believed, the Emperor reversed his decision and gave the go-ahead for a ground invasion. The Imperium had demonstrated the Tyranids could be defeated in space. Now it would demonstrate they could be defeated on the ground.

In late February, the survey frigate Constantia completed a resurvey of the area around the Taranis – Galen jump point without locating any dormant jump points, leaving the Galen jump point itself as the most likely arrival point for the Tyranids. Captain Caliban was reluctant to simply send the frigate through the jump point without support, but equally did not want to send Battlefleet Terra into the system without some form of reconnaissance. The first Vigilant class Recon Craft, a Starhawk-sized vessel with a top speed of 10,000 km/s, was under construction on Terra so Caliban decided to wait until that was available. It was swift enough to run from the larger Tyranid warships, although it was still outpaced by the Tyranid attack craft. The main drawback was a maximum fuel range of six billion kilometres. The Vigilant would be able to conduct a probe of the Galen jump point from the position of Battlefleet Terra, but for any investigation further down the chain, a mothership would be required.

Vigilant class Reconnaissance Craft      477 tons       13 Crew       113.7 BP       TCS 10    TH 96    EM 0
10058 km/s      Armour 1-5       Shields 0-0       HTK 4      Sensors 0/0/0/0      DCR 0      PPV 0
Maint Life 2.12 Years     MSP 14    AFR 18%    IFR 0.3%    1YR 4    5YR 62    Max Repair 48 MSP
Lieutenant Commander    Control Rating 1   
Intended Deployment Time: 12 months    Morale Check Required   

Ravenor RDS-96A Attack Craft Drive (1)    Power 96    Fuel Use 722.96%    Signature 96    Explosion 20%
Fuel Capacity 115,000 Litres    Range 6 billion km (6 days at full power)
MK I Frigate Active Augur Array (1)     GPS 4800     Range 51.3m km    Resolution 100

Vigilant 001 arrived on March 22nd, after refuelling en route at Centaurus colony and again at a tanker at the Alpha Centauri – Taranis jump point. The recon craft refuelled once again from an Orion class support vessel acting in direct support of Battlefleet Terra, then headed for the Galen jump point. Six hundred million kilometres from the jump point, Vigilant 001 detected A Tyranid fleet comprising two Tervigon class troop transports, two Hive Guard class escorts and a Carnifex class cruiser. Captain Caliban ordered the commander of the small craft, Lieutenant Commander Palatine Abnett, to shadow the Tyranid force.



Whether the Tyranids could detect Vigilant 001 was unknown, but they remained stationary. Caliban decided this would be an ideal opportunity to test the effectiveness of a Starhawk strike, so Battlefleet Terra left its position in orbit of Taranis I and headed for the Tyranids. The risk was that the alien force resisted the attack, as the Carnifex was faster than the Imperium ships and had longer-ranged weapons. For that reason, the Carnifex would be the primary target. Battlefleet Terra halted a hundred million kilometres from the Tyranid ships and launched all fifty-six Starhawk bombers. While the bombers could have been launched from much further away, the alien ships were actually faster than the Starhawks so Captain Caliban wanted to be close enough for the bombers to land before they were caught.

At seventeen million kilometres, they launched a wave of six hundred and seventy-two light torpedoes, all of which were targeted on the Carnifex. Caliban was prepared to risk overkill as he wanted to see just how much damage was required to destroy the high tech Tyranid warship. The speed of the Carnifex meant each torpedo had slightly higher than a thirty percent chance to hit. Thirty-two torpedoes were hit by strength-3 energy weapons, three more by strength-24 energy weapons and one by a strength-53 energy weapon. One hundred and seventy-three light torpedoes hit the Carnifex and it vanished from Imperial sensors. Unlike the ships of the Necrons and the Imperium, Tyranid ships left no wreckage when destroyed.

Trans-Newtonian vessels travel almost completely within the Aether, a dimension co-existing with normal space, that has fluidic properties and is much more compressed in terms of distance between objects, allowing much higher effective speeds in normal space. When a ship is destroyed, the wreckage loses that integrity and emerges completely from the Aether, making it easy to detect. For some reason the Tyranid vessels appeared to move deeper into the Aether when destroyed, making it impossible to salvage their ships. Some Imperial scientists believed the Tyranids were either native to the Aether or came from a third co-existing dimension. In fact, there was a growing body of opinion that the Tyranid ships might even be ‘alive’ in some sense.

As the Starhawks broke away to return to their motherships, the four remaining Tyranid ships began moving toward the Galen jump point at 7800 km/s. Battlefleet Terra was outside shipboard torpedo range and much slower than the retreating alien vessels. Captain Caliban ordered Vigilant 001 to shadow the Tyranids and took his ships back toward the inner system to cover the planned invasion of Taranis Colony. Twenty-four hours later, the four Tyranid ships transited into Galen, confirming that as their entry point into Taranis. For the first time, the Tyranids had retreated from an Imperium fleet. Caliban instructed Commander Abnett to take his recon craft to a picket position within a million kilometres of the jump point.

On April 14th, two weeks after the departure of the Tyranid force, a Carrack class freighter unloaded a deep space tracking station on to a comet that was midway between the Galen jump point and the inner system. Listening Post #1, as it was designated, would provide early warning of any approaching Tyranid fleets if anything unfortunate happened to Vigilant 001. Two weeks later, a second Carrack unloaded a tracking station on Taranis I to cover the inner system.

On May 16th, the Cetaceous class troop transports Cadia, Elysia, Mordian, Tallarn, Valhalla and Vostroya dropped twenty Imperial Guard infantry regiments and six armoured regiments on to the Taranis Colony. The infantry regiments were organised into five corps-level formations; the Cadian Corps, the Elysian Drop Troops, the Mordian Iron Guard, the Tallarn Desert Raiders and the Valhallan Ice Warriors. In total, the infantry forces included fifty thousand guardsmen, two thousand four hundred Chimera light vehicles, five hundred heavy mortars and a variety of supporting forces. The six armoured formations, the oversized Konig Armoured Regiment, the Krieg Armoured Regiment, the Magdellan Tank Regiment, the Minervan Tank Legion, the Palladius Armoured Regiment and the Teutonian Armoured Regiment, included over four hundred Leman Russ battle tanks and Annihilators, sixty of which were the new Leman Russ IIs with upgraded armour. In orbit, the warships of Battlefleet Terra were ready to provide orbital bombardment support.

The Tyranid forces had demonstrated their deadly ferocity on Nostramo and their technology was far more advanced than their human opponents. Fifteen hundred warriors formed the core of their ground forces, supported by one hundred and fifty of the huge six-limbed snake-humanoid Raveners, sixty of the tank-equivalent ankylosaurs known as Reapers and approximately fifty Biovores, another monstrous creature bred for both ground and anti-air combat.  The Imperial Guard had two advantages; vastly superior numbers and the willingness to use them. The Tyranid horde advanced rapidly toward the Imperium forces. The Imperial Guard infantry began digging in while the armour charged straight at the oncoming enemy.

As expected, Casualties were heavy. In the first six hours a thousand Guardsmen were killed, along with over a hundred lascannon teams. Ninety-six Chimeras and twenty-one Hydra flak platforms were destroyed. The 3rd Elysian Drop Regiment was the hardest hit, suffering about forty percent of Imperial casualties and losing its regimental headquarters. The headquarters of the 3rd Mordian Regiment was also overrun. The twenty infantry regiments and their supporting corps assets were very hard–pressed, especially as the Tyranids were very resistant to their light weapons. As they withstood the assault, they killed sixty Tyranid warriors and a single Biovore, the latter being hit by the heavy mortars of the Elysian corps.

The heroic stand of the infantry allowed the massed Leman Russ battle tanks of the six armoured regiments, supported by the Hellhounds of three light armour companies, to smash into the flank of the Tyranids and break their lines. The primary cannon of the Leman Russ tanks and the twin cannon of the Annihilator tank destroyers proved far more effective against the Tyranid armour. Twenty-one of the formidable Reapers were killed, plus seventeen Biovores, thirty-eight Raveners and more than a hundred Tyranid warriors. Orbital support accounted for two more Raveners and eight warriors. The Konig Armoured Regiment led the way, as it did on Procyon, inflicting over forty percent of the kills scored by Imperium armour.

The pattern of the battle was set. The infantry stood firm against the Tyranid horrors, despite their inability to harm the larger creatures, while the armoured regiments cut through the Tyranid ranks with cannons blazing. By the evening of the first day, half of the larger Tyranid creatures were dead and a quarter of the warriors.  Losses among the infantry regiments continued to mount. By the morning of the second day, as the Tyranid losses finally thinned their ranks, several infantry regiments began to mount local counterattacks. By the evening, the hard-charging armour had killed all but a handful of the non-warrior Tyranids. The infantry regiments came out of their half-dug trenches like a tidal wave, forcing the warriors into small groups that could be surrounded and overwhelmed. As the sun rose on the third day, the last of the invaders were slaughtered by the victorious Imperial Guard.

A famous victory had been achieved on Taranis II. The Tyranid ground forces had been regarded with the same terror as their warships. The guardsmen on Taranis had faced that terror and defeated it. Casualties were high, although not as bad as feared before the battle, or even after the first few hours of combat. The key to the victory was the use of massed armour, which had sufficient firepower to defeat the largest of the Tyranid creatures. In recognition of bravery during the battle, Bronze Stars were awarded to Colonels Gaius Ortan, Julius Agemann and Ciaphus Rachmiel, commanding respectively the 2nd Cadian Regiment, the 1st Valhallan Regiment and the 1st Mordian Regiment. Every officer in Taranis was awarded the newly-created Taranis Combat Ribbon to recognise their contribution to the defence of the system and the liberation of Taranis II.

Total losses comprised:
2109x Guardsman
173x Lascannon Team
167x Chimera
50x Hydra Flak Platform
37x Supply Vehicle
9x Heavy Mortar
4x Regimental HQ
2x Land Crawler Construction Vehicle
1x Vox Caster
1x Leman Russ Battle Tank

The available replacements on Taranis II were assigned to the Cadian Corps, the Elysian Drop Troops and the Tallarn Desert Raiders, bringing their regiments close to full strength. The three corps would remain on the planet to provide future defence, while the Mordian Iron Guard and the Valhallan Ice Warriors returned to Terra, which, due to the need to send the maximum strength invasion force to Taranis, was protected only by one full and one partial corps, with a total of six infantry regiments. The Konig Armoured Regiment, the Krieg Armoured Regiment and the Magdellan Tank Regiment, along with the three light armour companies, would also return to Terra, leaving the Minervan Tank Legion, the Palladius Armoured Regiment and the Teutonian Armoured Regiment to support the twelve infantry regiments on Taranis II.

Collateral damage was far worse than the combat casualties. Approximately five million civilians were killed during the three-day battle and all but sixteen mining complexes had been destroyed. The Emperor had decided that unleashing the full firepower of the Imperial Guard and supporting warships was a necessary evil and the collateral damage was the price paid by the Imperium to secure Taranis II. Five point three million civilians survived however and would form the core of a new and better defended Taranis Colony. Most importantly, the Duranium and Gallicite deposits on the planet were once again available to the Imperium

Taranis II was the subject of a major terraforming effort between Y2511 and Y2514. After the terraformers departed, the colony cost continued to fall as water condensed out of the atmosphere. The planet finally became an ideal habitable world during the Tyranid occupation. The dust created by the bombardment and subsequent ground combat did not shift the environment outside the habitable range, so new colonization could proceed rapidly. After consulting the Emperor, High Admiral Verus declared that Taranis II would become a ‘Fortress World’ with a large assigned fleet and surface-to-orbit defences. Work would begin immediately on shipping in the required maintenance facilities and population. The ships that provided the defences would initially come from Battlefleet Terra, although designs for orbital bases were requested from Imperial shipwrights.

Exploration continued on the frontiers of the Imperium. In late May, the survey frigate Vita Brevis was conducting a gravitational survey of the Scarus system, home to a new Imperial colony and planned mining site. The survey was partly completed and two jumps had been discovered so far. The first led to Menazoid, an unremarkable white dwarf system with four planets. The second was probed on May 30th, revealing a red dwarf system with three planets, designated as Cerix Magna. The second planet was an Earth-sized world with gravity of 0.89G, a breathable nitrogen-oxygen atmosphere of 0.8 atm, extensive oceans and a surface temperature of -47C. Cerix Magna II was tide-locked, which restricted the maximum population but meant the impact of the low temperature was minimised, resulting in a colony cost of 0.30. As the jump point was just over two hundred million kilometres from the star, the captain of Vita Brevis, Commander Dimitri Kolea, decided to conduct a geological survey of the three planets before returning to Scarus to continue the gravitational survey.

Vita Brevis had only covered forty million kilometres when she detected four Necron warships fifty million kilometres ahead. Commander Kolea immediately gave the order to run. The Necrons were twice as fast as the frigate but also twice as far from the jump point. Thirty minutes after the initial contact the hopes of escape were dealt a severe blow when fourteen thermal contacts were detected closing at almost 30,000 km/s. Two more waves followed, but the first was enough. Only thirty of the one hundred and eighty-nine crew made it to the life pods. Commander Kolea was not among them. Vita Brevis was of fairly recent construction, being completed in Y2512. Unfortunately, her operational career matched her name.



The late return of the survey frigate was soon cause for concern, as Scarus was a relatively busy system. There were a million Imperial colonists on Scarus IV, several terraforming ships in orbit, three Universe class mass conveyors delivering fifteen mining complexes to the new colony, a Delphinus class troop transport that had recently landed the 2nd Ordo Mineralis on a moon of the eleventh planet and a Goliath tug leaving the system via the Sanctum jump point, where the Gateway class stabilisation ship Ishtar Gate was at work.

What the Scarus system lacked was warships. The closest naval forces were two frigates in the Arcadia system, six transits away, and Battlefleet Prospero, also six transits distant and reduced to two light cruisers and two frigates due to detachments to Battlefleet Terra in Taranis. Unfortunately, none of those forces were jump capable and none were equipped with torpedo launchers that could fire augur torpedoes if they detected wreckage. There was an unarmed Empyrean class jump tender one jump away in Sanctum but that was allowing commercial traffic to pass through the Sanctum – Scarus jump point until stabilisation was complete. High Admiral Verus authorised the deployment of the jump frigate Flamberge from the Sol system, eight jumps away, to Scarus with orders to probe the Cerix Magna jump point and check on the status of Vita Brevis. The Cobra II class destroyer Omnis Arcanum was ordered to move from Taranis to Sol, via Alpha Centauri, and take augur torpedoes on board in case she was needed to conduct recon operations in Cerix Magna. The situation highlighted how stretched the Imperial Navy had become and also the need for a dedicated, long-range scout ship design.

Meanwhile, in Taranis the recently-constructed Vigilant 002 arrived to join its sister craft near the Galen jump point. On June 7th, Captain Caliban ordered Lieutenant Commander Cassius Tal, captain of the new arrival, to probe the jump point and report any Tyranid presence. As the jump point was not stabilised, the jump frigate Spatha was on hand to open up the jump point for Vigilant 002. The small recon craft transited and did not return. The obvious conclusion was that the Tyranids were waiting on the far side of the jump point. While they might have given up on their attempts to conquer the Taranis system, at least for the moment, they were not prepared to allow Imperium forces into Galen. Caliban ordered Spatha to retreat to Taranis II to join Battlefleet Terra, while Vigilant 001 remained in its picket position a million kilometres from the jump point. Once the situation in Taranis was more stable, a more forceful attempt to probe into Galen could be mounted. Until then, neither Captain Caliban, nor High Admiral Verus, was prepared to risk the loss of valuable warships in a blind assault.

On July 8th, Flamberge transited into Cerix Magnus and detected the wreck of Vita Brevis. Another threat on the frontier was the last thing the Empire needed. High Admiral Verus authorised Omnis Arcanum to move to Cerix Magnus and launch augur torpedoes to probe the inner system. Flamberge remained on the jump point. Verus considered ordering an evacuation of Scarus, which was intended as the mining location that would replace Taranis when that latter system was considered lost to the Tyranids. However, the logistical resources of the Imperium were stretched as much as the Imperial Navy, so he wanted to confirm the seriousness of the threat before making a final decision. It was possible this was a new Necron ‘Tomb World’ system, similar to Procyon, Prometheus and Praetoria. The Necrons in Procyon had been defeated, while the larger forces in Prometheus and Praetoria had shown no inclination to leave the systems they were apparently guarding. Liberation of those systems was on hold until the Tyranid threat had been neutralised. There was also the question of the Olympia system where Covenant had been destroyed shortly before the encounter with the Tyranids in the adjacent Gothic system. It was generally assumed that Covenant had been lost to an earlier Tyranid attack, but as the Tyranid forces appeared to enter Gothic from Tyran, it was still possible that Olympia was a Necron system or home to a third alien race.

Eight hours after Flamberge arrived in Cerix Magnus, she detected an active sensor emission from a Necron Cairn class destroyer. Flamberge transited back into Scarus and remained on the jump point. There was some relief that Cerix Magnus contained a probable tomb world which, based on past experience, was a relatively low threat to Scarus. Even so, High Admiral Verus had to provide some cover beyond Flamberge and Omnis Arcanum. He ordered Battlefleet Prospero, now reduced to the Dauntless II class light cruiser Bellerophon and the frigates Medusa and Mariatus after the recent redeployment of the light cruiser Bloodhawk to Terra for a refit, to move to Scarus. Verus could not leave Prospero uncovered for long, so he detached the frigates Sabre and Silent Virtue from Battlefleet Terra in Taranis and sent them to Prospero via Sol. Battlefleet Terra had been on station for eight months, so it was better to send the frigates to Prospero, which had maintenance facilities, while Battlefleet Prospero would be able to remain on station much longer in Scarus.

Battlefleet Terra itself was slowly shrinking due to detachments. A trio of frigates had been deployed to the Taranis – Alpha Centauri jump point to guard against any Tyranid stragglers or survey ships entering Alpha Centauri while the light cruisers Dauntless and Vigilant had returned to Terra for a refit. Within the last few days, the light cruiser Aegis and the destroyer Honoured Prophecy had been detached for an overhaul. Both ships had been in space for over two years. Omnis Arcanum, Sabre and Silent Virtue had all been detached as a result of the situation in Scarus. All the capital ships remained on station but their time was running out. Establishing a significant fleet base on Taranis to support its new ‘Fortress World’ status was now the number one priority for the Imperium.

To make the situation worse, the Imperium was running out of minerals, which had crippled production for almost two years. Or, more accurately, the Imperium’s mining complexes were in the wrong places. Terra had long been the industrial heart of the Imperium but its Trans-Newtonian deposits were almost exhausted, with the exception of Duranium and even that was becoming less accessible, yet there were still five hundred and sixty-five mining complexes on Terra, scraping what they could from the rapidly-deleting deposits. Mining colonies had been established on Taranis and Aurelia to meet the needs of Terra, but the former was captured and virtually destroyed by the subsequent liberation, while the other was under threat from Tyranid forces advancing from Nostramo and therefore could not be expanded beyond the sixty complexes already in place.

Terra Survey Report
Duranium:   175,509   0.85
Corbomite:   1,462   0.11
Tritanium:   3,448   0.14
Boronide:   1,641   0.12
Mercassium:   80,752   0.55
Sorium:   8,527   0.18
Corundium:   2,707   0.13
Gallicite:   3,670   0.16

The Imperium was counting on five locations for future mineral supplies; Centaurus, Gryphonne, Scarus, Taranis and Phaeton. Centaurus Colony was an ideal habitable world, the seventeenth moon of Alpha Centauri-A II and, with almost sixty million in habitants, the second largest population in the Imperium after Terra. With six million tons of accessible Duranium, plus substantial mid-to-high accessibility deposits of six other minerals, it was an ideal location for both mining and production. The colony was home to two shipyards, thirty-eight construction factories, one hundred and eighty-two mining complex and sixty maintenance facilities. It had housed a number of fuel refineries but those had recently been moved back to Terra to free up manpower for an increase in maintenance facilities. Centaurus could support up to 120,000 tons of warships. Alpha Centuari was home to six civilian mining outposts, four of which were sending minerals to the colony. The main disadvantage was an almost total lack of Gallicite. There was none on the colony and only a single deposit of 2000 tons on one of the mining colonies.  Any shipbuilding at Centaurus would require Gallicite to be shipped in from outside.

Centaurus Colony Survey Report
Duranium:   6,094,657   0.90
Neutronium:   39,267   0.70
Corbomite:   458,772   0.50
Vendarite:   1,288,699   0.60
Sorium:   193,402   0.80
Uridium:   1,918,319   0.30
Corundium:   754,792   0.50

Phaeton was in a chain of six generally unremarkable systems that lay beyond Athena’s second jump point. The system was five transits from Sol via Bernard’s Star, Colchis, Athena and Medrengard and had two further jump points. One led to the unexplored system of Sepheris, while the other led to Voltoris, a planetless brown dwarf connected to two further unexplored systems. The area was in need of further exploration, but survey ships were in short supply and demand was high. Phaeton had a red dwarf primary, three gas giants, one of which had twenty-two moons, and a good-sized asteroid belt. The third moon of Phaeton III was home to large accessible deposits of eight minerals, although again lacking Gallicite. As the moon was completely inhospitable, lacking air or water and with a temperature thirty degrees above absolute zero, it was home to one hundred and fifty-four automated mining complexes. A Carrack class freighter made a continuous run between Terra and Phaeton, unloading a single automated mine and returning with the latest supply of minerals. For the moment, Phaeton lacked both defenders and a deep space tracking station. Due to its importance, that would be corrected once the necessary resources were available.

Phaeton III – Moon 3 Survey Report
Duranium:   619,325   0.80
Neutronium:   107,725   0.80
Corbomite:   858,010   0.70
Tritanium:   70,525   0.80
Boronide:   102,994   0.60
Sorium:   184,741   0.90
Uridium:   87,241   0.90
Corundium:   712,657   1.00

Taranis II was an ideal habitable world with large Duranium and Gallicite deposits, both at accessibility 0.7, plus smaller and lower accessibility deposits of Neutronium and Boronide. Given the near-universal shortage of Gallicite, the presence of such a substantial, accessible deposit on the same world as a similar Duranium deposit made Taranis II a vital location for the Imperium, especially as one was only one transit from Alpha Centauri and two from Sol. Unfortunately, the recent conflict in the system and the ongoing security situation meant that the planet would remain unexploited for the moment.

Taranis II Survey Report
Duranium:   987,691   0.70
Neutronium:   277,267   0.30
Boronide:   17,701   0.60
Gallicite:   1,045,035   0.70

Scarus was a system of potential, rather than being of immediate benefit to the Imperium. Discovered in April Y2515, it was seen as a possible replacement for Taranis in the weeks after the Tyranid invasion of that system. Scarus IV had mid-to-high accessibility deposits of every mineral except Mercassium, including over eight hundred thousand tons of accessibility 0.9 Duranium. While Scarus IV was a colony cost 2.00 world that lacked air or water, it was a dwarf planet only twenty-four hundred kilometres in diameter, making it relatively easy to terraform. By July Y2516, four Gaia class terraforming platforms were in orbit with a fifth en route. So far, the atmosphere was a combination of water vapour and Aestusium at 0.08 atm and the surface water was at 2% coverage, but that would grow over the forthcoming months. The terraformers already in place were capable of adding 0.3 atm per year. Sufficient infrastructure was in place to support the population of one million and the first fifteen mines had arrived. The two downsides to Scarus IV were a maximum population of eighty-five million, although that would not be an issue for many years, and the limited Gallicite deposit.

The fifth moon of Scarus VIII also had deposits of ten different minerals, including two hundred and forty thousand tons of accessibility 0.8 Duranium and one hundred and fifty thousand tons of accessibility 0.9 Gallicite. The moon had a diameter of three thousand kilometres, larger than Scarus IV and with a colony cost of 7.83, due to the temperature of -189C, it would be much harder to terraform. Even so, the Gaia platforms would be towed to the moon after their work on Scarus IV was completed.

Scarus IV Survey Report
Duranium:   839,786   0.90
Neutronium:   278,767   0.70
Corbomite:   1,192,447   0.70
Tritanium:   646,401   0.60
Boronide:   3,583   0.70
Vendarite:   501,249   0.60
Sorium:   374,529   0.60
Uridium:   41,604   0.50
Corundium:   435,575   1.00
Gallicite:   20,716   0.80

Scarus VIII – Moon 5 Survey Report
Duranium:   238,050   0.80
Neutronium:   230,400   0.40
Corbomite:   81,225   0.40
Tritanium:   22,500   0.60
Boronide:   632,025   0.30
Mercassium:   90,000   0.90
Vendarite:   1,742,400   0.40
Sorium:   230,400   0.60
Uridium:   497,025   0.30
Gallicite:   152,100   0.90

High Admiral Verus believed the Gryphonne system had the greatest potential and he knew the Emperor shared that view. Gryphonne was six transits from Sol via Bernard’s Star, Regulus, Graildark, Endymion and Davin, with a secondary route from Graildark via Solstice and Calderis. Gryphonne Prime was a super-terrestrial world with a diameter of twenty thousand kilometres and gravity of 1.6G. Vast ice fields covered two-thirds of the surface, due to the temperature of -69C. The nitrogen – oxygen atmosphere was breathable and the planet was tide-locked, reducing the effect of the low temperature and resulting in a colony cost of 0.49. Because of the size of Gryphonne Prime no serious terraforming effort had been undertaken, although a Gaia class platform had recently been towed into orbit and was adding trace amounts of Aestusium to the atmosphere. The population was seventeen million, supported by infrastructure. A shipyard with a single slipway of eighteen-thousand-ton capacity was in orbit, while on the ground were sixty-five construction factories, twenty-four mines and fifty-one maintenance facilities, plus refuelling and ordnance transfer stations. Gryphonne Prime had one hundred and sixty million tons of accessibility 0.8 Duranium, plus eight other mineral deposits, two at mid-level accessibility and the rest minimal accessibility. All the deposits except Mercassium were in the millions of tons and would provide at least some mineral supplies for decades to come.

Gryphonne Prime Survey Report
Duranium:   158,419,315   0.80
Corbomite:   2,889,914   0.10
Tritanium:   5,759,486   0.60
Mercassium:   9,914   0.10
Vendarite:   47,609,914   0.10
Sorium:   88,359,914   0.10
Uridium:   24,009,914   0.10
Corundium:   57,759,657   0.40
Gallicite:   62,409,914   0.10

Where Gryphonne Prime had an advantage over the other colonies was in the mineral deposits elsewhere in the system. The third moon of Gryphonne II, known as Gryphonne Secundus, had over a million tons of accessibility 0.9 Duranium and a similar quantity of 0.5 accessibility Gallicite, plus several other mid-accessibility deposits. The high density of the moon, only two thousand two hundred kilometres in diameter, resulted in a gravity of 0.21G, allowing Gryphonne Secundus to be terraformed. That operation was well underway, with seven Gaia class terraforming platforms in orbit. The aestusium-oxygen atmosphere was already breathable so the terraformers were working on raising the temperature from -31C. With eighteen percent ice coverage, which would soon melt and form oceans, and more water vapour condensing from the atmosphere, Gryphonne Secundus was close to becoming an ideal habitable world. The colony cost was already down to 0.86. The population was three million with more colonists en route and forty mines were already in place. More would arrive as the population increased. Mass drivers were sending the minerals mined on Gryphonne Secundus to Gryphonne Prime.
 
Gryphonne Secundus Survey Report
Duranium:   1,219,613   0.90
Corbomite:   211   0.71
Tritanium:   495,445   0.50
Boronide:   302,260   0.70
Mercassium:   26,985   0.70
Uridium:   979,894   0.60
Gallicite:   1,209,829   0.50

There were three civilian mining colonies in Gryphonne, with a total of eight civilian complexes. All were sending minerals to Gryphonne Prime. Finally, the Solomon class mining platforms that were moved from Malagant in the face of the Tyranid invasion had been towed to Gryphonne’s asteroid belt. They had been joined by two newly constructed platforms and all seven were in orbit of the asteroid on which the Omegus Ores civilian mining company was located. Together, the Solomon platforms had the same output as one hundred and seventy-five mines. There were several other asteroids with mining potential.

Asteroid #179 (Omegus Ores) Survey Report
Duranium:   12,189   1.00
Neutronium:   5,014   1.00
Tritanium:   884   0.47
Mercassium:   292   0.26
Sorium:   3,071   0.88
Corundium:   884   0.47
Gallicite:   5,790   1.00

The twin challenges facing Gryphonne were astrography and security. Despite its importance, Gryphonne was very much a frontier system. In addition to the Davin and Calderis jump points, which led back toward the heart of the Empire, Gryphonne had jump points to Hagia and Tigrus, two unremarkable red dwarf systems with no mineral deposits. Neither system had undergone a gravitational survey, so a threat could appear with little to no warning. The adjacent Davin system, with an Imperial population of one million on the second planet, had ten jump points, eight of which also led to systems without gravitational surveys and one of which, Praetoria, was home to a Necron Tomb World. Endymion, two jumps from Gryphonne via Davin, had a population of twenty-seven million on a large asteroid that had been terraformed into an ideal habitable world and was two transits from the Necron Tomb World in the Prometheus system. Two survey frigates, Morning Star and Tempest, were en route to Gryphonne to begin pushing out the frontier.

Battlefleet Gryphonne had been stripped of ships for the conflict in Taranis and was down to the Dauntless II class light cruisers Advocate and Cerberus and the jump frigate Claymore. Battlefleet Prometheus, at Endymion Base, was in even worse shape with just two Firestorm class frigates and another jump frigate. As the situation stabilised and refits were completed, warships would return to both colonies. In the meantime, because of the industrial potential of the Gryphonne system, the Emperor designated Gryphonne Prime as the first ‘Forge World’, a planet dedicated to providing the Imperial Navy and the Imperial Guard with the tools to liberate the galaxy. As the population grew and more installations and shipyards arrived, the output of the system would increase and Gryphonne might one day be sending newly-built ships to defend other colonies.

In early August, two Phoenix class salvagers and a pair of Universe class mass conveyers returned to Sol after salvaging all the Necron wrecks in Procyon. In addition to several thousand tons of minerals, they unloaded a variety of ship components recovered from the wrecks. Disassembly of the components, mainly fire controls, sensors and torpedo launchers, yielded a quantity of technical information that would reduce the research effort required for improvements in those technologies.

On August 10th, the destroyer Omnis Arcanum arrived at the Scarus – Cerix Magnus jump point. The jump frigate Flamberge was on station and opened the jump point for Omnis Arcanum to transit. The Cobra II class destroyer arrived in Cerix Magnus to find the thermal signatures of four Necron ships at point blank range; a 20,000 ton Phaeron class escort cruiser plus three 10,000 ton destroyers – a Cairn, Dirge and Khopesh. Within moments, Omnis Arcanum detected thermal signatures from twenty-one probable anti-ship torpedoes and twenty-three of the Necron anti-torpedo torpedoes. Omnis Arcanum was built before the Imperium left orbit of Terra and had a very well-trained crew. Commander Colm Eisenstein ordered his helmsman to retreat immediately. Fortunately, Flamberge was holding the jump point open and Omnis Arcanum transited to safety before the arrival of the Necron torpedoes. It would be a busy day for the destroyer’s laundry department.

Fortunately, the remainder of the year passed without any further contact with either the Necrons or the Tyranids. Both alien races were presumably still guarding the points of contact but had made no effort to send forces into either Taranis or Scarus. How long the status quo would last was unknown. The problem for High Admiral Verus was that a substantial force was required in Taranis in case the Tyranid Behemoth and its escorts entered the system, but Battlefleet Terra had been on station for a year without maintenance facilities and was suffering from an increasing number of system failures. The Galaxy and Orion class support ships were transporting supplies to the fleet, but it comprised the bulk of the Imperial Navy and the Imperium was starting to run out of maintenance supplies. Four light cruisers had been pulled back to Alpha Centauri and several other ships, including a pair of Lunar class cruisers, had returned to Terra. Even so, Battlefleet Terra still comprised 730,000 tons of warships.

By the end of the year, sufficient maintenance facilities were on Taranis to support 110,000 tons, but that was nowhere near enough and there were still no maintenance supplies on the surface. An Orion class support vessel was en route to deliver the first supplies, at which point Battlefleet Taranis would be formed to guard the planet. Given the success of the Starhawk strike on the Tyranid Carnifex, the priority would be to base a number of Starhawk squadrons on the planet. The first twelve Starhawk III bombers, equipped with magneto-plasma engines, had been built on Terra and would be shipped to the planet once it was ready to support them. A second new type of small craft, the Fury class Interceptor, was armed with the MK III Lascannon, a smaller version of the weapon batteries on Imperial warships. Four had been constructed.

Starhawk III class Bomber      498 tons       8 Crew       86.2 BP       TCS 10    TH 96    EM 0
9638 km/s      Armour 1-5       Shields 0-0       HTK 2      Sensors 0/0/0/0      DCR 0      PPV 30
Maint Life 2.32 Years     MSP 10    AFR 20%    IFR 0.3%    1YR 3    5YR 38    Max Repair 48 MSP
Magazine 30   
Lieutenant Commander    Control Rating 1   
Intended Deployment Time: 0.4 months    Morale Check Required   

Ravenor RDS-96A Attack Craft Drive (1)    Power 96    Fuel Use 722.96%    Signature 96    Explosion 20%
Fuel Capacity 50,000 Litres    Range 2.5 billion km (3 days at full power)

Starhawk Torpedo Launcher (12)     Missile Size: 2.5    Hangar Reload 79 minutes    MF Reload 13 hours
MK I Light Torpedo Fire Control (1)     Range 26.5m km    Resolution 100
MK I Light Torpedo (12)    Speed: 24,880 km/s    End: 14.2m     Range: 21.2m km    WH: 4    Size: 2.5    TH: 82/49/24
MK I Starhawk Augur Array (1)     GPS 800     Range 20.9m km    Resolution 100

Fury class Interceptor      500 tons       23 Crew       124.1 BP       TCS 10    TH 96    EM 0
9608 km/s      Armour 1-5       Shields 0-0       HTK 4      Sensors 0/0/0/0      DCR 0      PPV 3
Maint Life 5.04 Years     MSP 31    AFR 10%    IFR 0.1%    1YR 2    5YR 31    Max Repair 48 MSP
Lieutenant Commander    Control Rating 1   
Intended Deployment Time: 0.5 months    Morale Check Required   

Ravenor RDS-96A Attack Craft Drive (1)    Power 96    Fuel Use 722.96%    Signature 96    Explosion 20%
Fuel Capacity 54,000 Litres    Range 2.7 billion km (3 days at full power)

MK III Lascannon (1x4)    Range 40,000km     TS: 9,608 km/s     Power 3-3     RM 40,000 km    ROF 5       
MK I Fury Fire Control (1)     Max Range: 64,000 km   TS: 10,000 km/s     
R3 Stellarator Fusion Reactor (1)     Total Power Output 3.1    Exp 5%
MK I Fury Augur Array (1)     GPS 160     Range 9.4m km    Resolution 100
 
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Offline Steve Walmsley (OP)

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Re: Crusade - Updates
« Reply #9 on: December 06, 2019, 04:31:42 PM »
Shipbuilding in general was very limited during Y2616 due to the resource shortages beginning to plague the Imperium and the desire to only expend those resources once new technology was available. New construction comprised two Jericho class colony ships, one Gaia class terraforming platform, two Solomon class mining platforms and two Ambrosia class fuel harvesters. Refits were completed on six ships, converting them to designs with magneto-plasma engines and ceramic composite armour. The Sword III class Frigate design also included the new MK II Energy Weapon Fire Control, an upsized version of the MK I to allow for faster tracking. The Firestorm IV had the same fire control and the new Particle Lance weapon. Morning Star and Evening Star were survey frigates converted to the Tempest II design, Firestorm and Gorgon were refitted to the Firestorm IV, while Final Silence and Excalibur were upgraded to the Sword III class frigate.

Sword III class Frigate      7,500 tons       219 Crew       1,330.8 BP       TCS 150    TH 800    EM 990
5333 km/s      Armour 3-34       Shields 33-330       HTK 54      Sensors 6/8/0/0      DCR 4      PPV 37.8
Maint Life 2.55 Years     MSP 471    AFR 106%    IFR 1.5%    1YR 101    5YR 1,517    Max Repair 200 MSP
Commander    Control Rating 1   BRG   
Intended Deployment Time: 18 months    Morale Check Required   

Ravenor RDS-400 Magneto-Plasma Drive (2)    Power 800    Fuel Use 44.27%    Signature 400    Explosion 10%
Fuel Capacity 450,000 Litres    Range 24.4 billion km (52 days at full power)
Valentinian-Stern VS-33 Void Shield (1)     Recharge Time 330 seconds (0.1 per second)

DV-1 Defence Turret (2x3)    Range 30,000km     TS: 16000 km/s     Power 0-0     RM 30,000 km    ROF 5       
Astaroth Kinetics AK-20 Weapons Battery (3x4)    Range 160,000km     TS: 5,333 km/s     Power 12-4     Accuracy Modifier 100%     RM 40,000 km    ROF 15       
MK I Defence Turret Fire Control (1)     Max Range: 64,000 km   TS: 16,000 km/s     
MK II Energy Weapon Fire Control (2)     Max Range: 256,000 km   TS: 5,400 km/s     
R12 Stellarator Fusion Reactor (1)     Total Power Output 12.1    Exp 5%

MK I Frigate Active Augur Array (1)     GPS 4800     Range 51.3m km    Resolution 100
MK I Small Torpedo Detection Array (1)     GPS 4     Range 2.9m km    MCR 310.9k km    Resolution 1
MK I Electromagnetic Augur Array (1)     Sensitivity 8     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  22.4m km
MK I Thermal Augur Array (1)     Sensitivity 6     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  19.4m km

Firestorm IV class Frigate      7,500 tons       231 Crew       1,512.9 BP       TCS 150    TH 800    EM 990
5333 km/s      Armour 3-34       Shields 33-330       HTK 57      Sensors 6/0/0/0      DCR 4      PPV 38.4
Maint Life 2.24 Years     MSP 504    AFR 112%    IFR 1.6%    1YR 136    5YR 2,040    Max Repair 284.7 MSP
Commander    Control Rating 1   BRG   
Intended Deployment Time: 18 months    Morale Check Required   

Ravenor RDS-400 Magneto-Plasma Drive (2)    Power 800    Fuel Use 44.27%    Signature 400    Explosion 10%
Fuel Capacity 423,000 Litres    Range 22.9 billion km (49 days at full power)
Valentinian-Stern VS-33 Void Shield (1)     Recharge Time 330 seconds (0.1 per second)

DV-1 Defence Turret (1x3)    Range 30,000km     TS: 16000 km/s     Power 0-0     RM 30,000 km    ROF 5       
Astaroth Kinetics AK-20 Weapons Battery (2x4)    Range 160,000km     TS: 5,333 km/s     Power 12-4     Accuracy Modifier 100%     RM 40,000 km    ROF 15       
Valentinian Precision Armaments V12-240 Particle Lance (1)    Range 64,000km     TS: 5,333 km/s     Power 37-5    ROF 40       
MK I Defence Turret Fire Control (1)     Max Range: 64,000 km   TS: 16,000 km/s     
MK II Energy Weapon Fire Control (2)     Max Range: 256,000 km   TS: 5,400 km/s     
R7 Stellarator Fusion Reactor (2)     Total Power Output 13.8    Exp 5%

MK I Frigate Active Augur Array (1)     GPS 4800     Range 51.3m km    Resolution 100
MK I Small Torpedo Detection Array (1)     GPS 4     Range 2.9m km    MCR 310.9k km    Resolution 1
MK I Thermal Augur Array (1)     Sensitivity 6     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  19.4m km

Tempest II class Survey Frigate      7,500 tons       194 Crew       1,176.1 BP       TCS 150    TH 280    EM 0
3733 km/s    JR 3-50      Armour 1-34       Shields 0-0       HTK 51      Sensors 6/0/2/2      DCR 9      PPV 0
Maint Life 5.81 Years     MSP 882    AFR 50%    IFR 0.7%    1YR 44    5YR 667    Max Repair 147 MSP
Commander    Control Rating 1   BRG   
Intended Deployment Time: 54 months    Morale Check Required   

Ravenor Drive Systems RM-75 Military Jump Drive    Max Ship Size 7500 tons    Distance 50k km   Squadron Size 3
Ravenor RDS-280E Magneto-Plasma Drive (2)    Power 560    Fuel Use 18.15%    Signature 140.0    Explosion 7%
Fuel Capacity 894,000 Litres    Range 118.2 billion km (366 days at full power)

MK I Frigate Active Augur Array (1)     GPS 4800     Range 51.3m km    Resolution 100
MK I Thermal Augur Array (1)     Sensitivity 6     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  19.4m km
Gravitational Survey Sensors (2)   2 Survey Points Per Hour
Geological Survey Sensors (2)   2 Survey Points Per Hour

The Imperial Navy was very stretched at the end of Y2516. Assembling the massive force that was Battlefleet Terra had stripped most of the Imperium of warships and even though a few of those ships were filtering back to Terra and other systems, in most cases they needed immediate overhaul or were beginning refits. The refit process would be slow though, as the main upgrade was engines and the Imperium was desperately short of Gallicite. That Gallicite was also needed for maintenance supplies and torpedoes, two vital resources in the fight against the Tyranids. Protecting Taranis and developing other systems such as Gryphonne would be vital if the Imperium was to survive. At the end of Y2516, the disposition of the Imperial Navy was as follows.

Current Order of Battle: R = Undergoing Refit, O = Undergoing Overhaul

Sol
2x Lunar II class Cruiser: Imperial Wrath (R), Iron Duke (O).
2x Dominator class Jump Cruiser: Ferrum Aeterna, Ultima Praetor
5x Vanguard II class Strike Cruiser: Angelic Blade (R), Dread Argent (R), Eternal Defiance, Ravenous Spirit, Vae Victus
4x Dauntless II class Light Cruiser: Aegis (O), Bloodhawk (R), Dauntless (R), Vigilant (R)
3x Endeavour II class Light Jump Cruiser: Endeavour, Leonid, Sword of Voss
1x Cobra II class Destroyer: Honoured Prophecy (O)
2x Firestorm IV class Frigate: Firestorm, Gorgon
1x Firestorm III class Frigate: Cape Wrath
2x Firestorm III class frigate: Harrower (R), Liberator (R)
2x Sword III class Frigate: Excalibur, Final Silence
2x Sword II class Frigate: Order Absolute, Pegasus (O)
12x Starhawk III class Bomber
4x Fury class Interceptor
4x Thunderhawk II class Assault Transport
11x Thunderhawk class Assault Transport
1x Vigilant class Reconnaissance Craft

Arcadia
1x Firestorm II class frigate: Maelstrom
1x Sword II class Frigate: Rapier

Alpha Centauri
2x Dauntless II class Light Cruiser: Luxor (O), Ravenor (O)
2x Endurance class Light Cruiser: Ad Liberis (O), Bellator Stoicus (O)
1x Procyon class Destroyer: Procyon Victory (O)

Athena
1x Firestorm II class frigate: Reaver’s Dismay
1x Sword II class Frigate: Drusus

Endymion
2x Firestorm II class Frigate: Kraken, Thunder
1x Falchion II class Jump Frigate: Katana

Gryphonne
2x Dauntless II class Light Cruiser: Advocate, Cerberus
1x Endeavour II class Light Jump Cruiser: Endeavour
2x Falchion II class Jump Frigate: Claymore (R), Falchion (O)

Prospero
2x Sword II class Frigate: Sabre, Strident Virtue
1x Falchion II class Jump Frigate: Scimitar

Sanctum
1x Falchion II class Jump Frigate: Flamberge

Scarus
1x Dauntless II class Light Cruiser: Bellerophon
1x Firestorm II class frigate: Medusa
1x Sword II class Frigate: Mariatus
1x Cobra II class Destroyer: Omnis Arcanum

Taranis
2x Mars II class Battlecruiser: Pax Imperium, Resolute
2x Overlord II class Battlecruiser: Overlord, Sword of Retribution
5x Lunar II class Cruiser: Agrippa, Holy Flame, Indomitus Imperious, Justicar, Retribution
3x Dictator class Cruiser: Archon Kort, Fortitude, Rhadamanthine
3x Dauntless III class Light Cruiser: Divine Crusade, Guardian, Hammer of Truth
1x Dauntless II class Light Cruiser: Havock
2x Defiant class Light Cruiser: Archangel, Defiant
2x Endurance II class Light Cruiser: Endurance, Indomitable Purpose
1x Firestorm II class Frigate: Just Persecution
2x Sword II class Frigate: Achilles, Heroic Endeavour
6x Cobra II class Destroyer: Arbitrator, Callidus, Implacable, Valour Eternal, Veritas, Zealous
1x Falchion II class Jump Frigate: Spatha
56x Starhawk II class Bomber
2x Vigilant class Reconnaissance Craft

Valon
1x Falchion II class Jump Frigate: Gladius
 
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Offline Steve Walmsley (OP)

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Re: Crusade - Updates
« Reply #10 on: December 19, 2019, 06:12:12 PM »
Y2517
The colony on Taranis II, now renamed Fortress Taranis, grew rapidly in the first half of Y2517 and reached a population of fifteen million by the end of July. One hundred and forty maintenance facilities were in place, along with fifty mines. Three Galaxy class support ships were in orbit, taking the total maintenance capacity of the colony to 430,000 tons. Battlefleet Taranis had been formed and comprised both Overlord class battlecruisers, five Lunar II class cruisers, three Dauntless III class light cruisers, two Sword III class frigates and two Firestorm IV class frigates. All four frigates had magneto-plasma engines. Although none of the ships in Battlefleet Taranis had Starhawks on board, the ships of Battlefleet Terra had left their Starhawks behind when they headed back to Sol for overhauls, so fifty-six Starhawks were based at the colony. New Starhawk IIIs with magneto-plasma engines would be constructed to replace them in the hangar bays of Battlefleet Terra.

The colonies in the Gryphonne system continued to expand and Gryphonne Secundus became an ideal habitable world. The terraforming platforms were moved to the adjacent Davin system to terraform the second planet. Three survey frigates were assigned to expand known space around Gryphonne and Davin, partly for security purposes and partly to search for new sources of Gallicite that could feed the newly designated Forge world. One of the two unsurveyed systems adjacent to Gryphonne, Hagia, proved to be a cul-de-sac. The other, Tigrus, had two jumps points, leading to Moab, a planetless red dwarf system, and Septimus, which had a K-class primary, eleven planets and seventy-eight moons. Two worlds were colony cost 2.00, although neither had water or an atmosphere. Morning Star and Tempest began a gravitational survey of Septimus in July, while a Talos survey craft conducted a geological survey.

Meanwhile, the survey frigate Evening Star conducted a gravitational survey of Gereon, a planetless brown dwarf system adjacent to Davin and discovered five new jump points. Evening Star and the jump frigate Claymore probed all five, discovering the systems of Alaric, Antagonis, Minerva, Stygia and Tannhauser Gate. Four of the systems had one colony cost 2.00 world and Tannhauser Gate had three. While none of the three had an atmosphere or water, they were all relatively small and therefore easier to terraform. Evening Star moved into Tannhauser Gate to conduct a geological survey while Claymore escorted a Talos survey craft into Antagonis. The latter system had a huge super-terrestrial world 30,000 km in diameter. Antagonis II was almost covered with deep ocean, except for a few jungle-covered mountains rising above the surface. The nitrogen-oxygen atmosphere was too dense for humans at 4.85 atm and the gravity was too high at 2.2G. An interesting discovery, but of no immediate use.

On August 3rd, a Tyranid ship of a previously unseen design transited into Valon. The Lictor class was 2800 tons and moving at 11,317 km/s. The Falchion II class jump frigate Gladius was picketing the Valon – Nostramo jump point and attempted to engage. However, the alien craft sped away and was out of range before Gladius’ weapon crews could react. The Tyranid ship did not open fire, suggesting it was some form of scout or survey ship. Gladius
had served her purpose by detecting the Tyranid entry into Valon, so High Admiral Verus ordered the ship to fall back to the Arconar jump point, disengage active sensors and watch for any Tyranids approaching.

With Valon now known to the Tyranids, the chain of systems beyond the Herodor jump point, including Procyon, would now be cut off. Procyon had been almost completely evacuated. About half a million colonists remained, along with an ordnance transfer station and some infrastructure. The Arconar jump point led to the heart of the Imperium. Arconar itself connected to the dead-end system of Damocles, which contained an Imperium colony of two point six million and thirty-five financial centres, and to Colchis, a planetless brown dwarf system. Colchis was adjacent to Athena, one of the most important systems in the Imperium, with a colony of twenty-two million and six civilian mining outposts, and two jumps from Sol via Barnard’s Star.

There was no obvious defence position in the path of the Tyranid advance. Valon itself was planetless. Arconar had seven planets and over thirty moons, none of which were suitable for a fleet base. There was a low gravity dwarf planet with a colony cost of 2.00, but it was too small to be terraformed and had a maximum population of less than three million. Colchis had no planets at all. If there was to be a defence at all, it would have to be in deep space. High Admiral Verus decided that in the short term the Imperium would not send a fleet. Instead, the advance would be monitored and the Imperium would concentrate on improving the fighting strength of the Imperial Navy. If the Tyranids entered Arconar, then the fleet would be committed to battle. In the meantime, the Damocles colony would be evacuated.





Three days after the encounter in Valon, the Talos class survey craft in the Antagonis system was attacked without warning. Claymore, stationed on the Gereon jump point, detected almost two hundred strength-1 impacts. Talos 002 was vapourised. The identity of the attacker was unknown. Gereon was on the stable jump network, so as soon as Claymore jumped back into the system, she contacted Imperium High Command. Antagonis was two jumps from the small colony on Davin II and three transits from both Endymion Base and Gryphonne. The once mighty Battlefleet Prometheus at Endymion Base now comprised only three frigates, due to detachments to fight the Tyranids in Taranis, while Battlefleet Gryphonne had three light cruisers, one of which was a jump capable Endeavour II.

High Admiral Verus ordered Claymore to picket the Gereon – Antagonis jump point until the threat could be assessed. The Imperial Navy faced threats on too many fronts and could not be strong against them all. It was fortunate that the Necrons remained in their systems, guarding their tomb worlds, or the situation would be far worse. As it was, the Tyranids were at the gates in Taranis, advancing into Valon and presumably also advancing through Malagant and Asteroth toward the Aurelia colony. The best case situation for the destruction of the Talos survey craft was another Necron tomb world. If it was the Tyranids or a new hostile race, then the threat to the vital Gryphonne system would mean a new large deployment to the area. The problem for High Admiral Verus was that the many defensive deployments took any initiative away from the Imperium. At some point, he hoped to assemble a strong force and go on the offensive, but that did not look likely in the near future. To determine the level of threat, Verus dispatched the Cobra II class destroyer Zealous to Gereon with orders to probe Antagonis and launch augur torpedoes into the inner system. As ships in Battlefleet Terra completed their refits, they would be sent to reinforce Battlefleet Gryphonne.

Zealous arrived on September 6th and transited into Antagonis, with Claymore holding open the jump point. The entry point was over four billion kilometres from the inner system, while the augur torpedoes had a range just short of seven hundred million kilometres. The jump point was close to the orbit of the sixth planet and two billion kilometres from the associated Lagrange point. The fifth planet orbited at one point five billion and also had a Lagrange point so the destroyer’s captain, Commander Lucien Stern, decided that would his route, proceeding with shields and active sensors off. The target for the first torpedoes would be the high gravity world with the dense nitrogen-oxygen atmosphere.

Nine days later, Zealous arrived at a point six hundred million kilometres from the target and launched two augur torpedoes, one passive and one active. Twenty-six hours after launch, with the torpedoes eighteen million kilometres from Antagonis II, the passive torpedo detected the emissions from a Necron Cairn class destroyer. While the emissions proved there were aliens in the system, at least the threat of a new Tyranid incursion had been removed. At nine million kilometres, the active torpedo was within sensor range. The Necron force in orbit of Antagonis II comprised two Shroud class orbital defence platforms, two Scythe class orbital defence platforms, a Phaeron class escort cruiser and three destroyers; a Cairn, Khopesh and Dirge. It was a smaller force than in Procyon and would be a suitable target for a powerful Imperium fleet. Both torpedoes were destroyed short of the planet by Necron anti- torpedoes. Zealous came about and headed back toward the Lagrange point.



The other area of expansion in Y2517 was the Lysades system, discovered in Y2503 and located four transits from Sol via Bernard’s Star, Aeolus and Macharia. When the gravitational survey was finally carried in September Y2517, it revealed two jump points, leading to the systems of Aerius and Taros. The former was an unremarkable red dwarf with three planets, two of which were colony cost 2.00, but lacked either minerals or atmosphere. Taros had four planets, including another super- terrestrial world with a diameter of 28,000 kilometres. Unlike the similar world in Antagonis, Taros II was within the human habitable range. The nitrogen – oxygen atmosphere of 3.16 atm had 0.095 atm of oxygen, making it very close to breathable, while the gravity of 1.78G would be tough on any colonists but survivable. The planet was mostly desert, with small seas covering just under sixteen percent of the surface and a surface temperature of 30C. The planet was an excellent terraforming candidate, although progress would very slow due to the vast surface area, making it five times harder to terraform than a Terra-sized world. Eight mineral deposits were present but all at minimal accessibility.

A gravitational survey of Taros by the survey frigates Quaesitor and Black Moon, the latter recently launched from the Trajan Iron Works shipyard in orbit of the Centaurus Colony, was underway at the end of Y2517. A single jump point had been detected and probed, revealing the Valhalla system. Valhalla had seven planets, three of which were colony cost 2.00, although none had atmosphere and only two had water.

New construction in Y2517 comprised The Tempest II class survey frigate Black Moon, twenty-two Starhawk III bombers, a Universe II class Mass conveyor, three Ambrosia class fuel harvesters and two Gaia class terraforming platforms. Refits were completed on the Firestorm IV class destroyers Harrower and Liberator, the Tempest II class survey frigate Constantia, the Falchion III class jump frigate Claymore and eleven Thunderhawk assault transports. Two Stargate class stabilization platforms were converted into the Gateway II class stabilisation ships Arch of Constantine and Arch of Titus.

At Fortress Taranis, the first ground formations with surface-to-orbit weapons were in place by the end of the year. The 3rd and 9th Planetary Defences Forces comprised a total of twelve Lance Batteries and eight Defence Turrets. Until recently, they were the best STO weapons available to the Imperial Guard. That changed at the end of August when the first three Particle Lance Batteries were completed. Each battery included two Particle Lances and six Hydra III flak platforms and all three were based on Fortress Taranis. The two Overlord class battlecruisers from Battlefleet Taranis had returned to Terra for a refit and were replaced in orbit by the two Mars class battlecruisers, each with a strike group of twelve Starhawk III bombers to complement the fifty-six Starhawk IIs based at the planet.

Y2517 was a year in which the Tyranids allowed the Imperium the breathing room to reorganise. While resource shortages were a real problem and only a handful of refits had been completed, there was now a solid defence in place at Fortress Taranis that did not use up the bulk of the Imperial Navy. Many overhauls had been completed in the year and the Navy was recovering from the long, simultaneous deployment of every capital ship. Finally, a Thermal Buoy had been designed and produced that would allow long-term deep space monitoring without the need for picket ships. Buoys had been positioned on the Imperium side of each jump point on the likely lines of Tyranid advance.

Y2518
The Gallicite shortage hit with full force in early Y2018. Shipbuilding was halted on Terra as Gallicite ran out entirely. As shipments arrived from the mines in Gryphonne and Taranis, a few ships continued refits while the rest lay in idle shipyards. Building was completely halted on three further occasions. The Gallicite crisis led to the decision to relocate the automated mines in the Phaeton system to the fifth moon of Scarus VIII, which was on the far side of the Imperium. This task required almost the entire freighter capacity of the Empire for most of the year, but by December one hundred and forty automated mines were in place, with only seventeen remaining in Phaeton. Unlike the site in Phaeton, the mining colony in Scarus had a significant amount of accessibility 0.9 Gallicite. Ten terraforming platforms were towed into orbit of the moon in an effort to make it suitable for manned mining complexes. It would be a long process due to the temperature of -189C and the absence of water and atmosphere.

Scarus VIII – Moon 5 Survey Report
Duranium:   238,050   0.80
Neutronium:   230,400   0.40
Corbomite:   81,225   0.40
Tritanium:   22,500   0.60
Boronide:   632,025   0.30
Mercassium:   90,000   0.90
Vendarite:   1,742,400   0.40
Sorium:   230,400   0.60
Uridium:   497,025   0.30
Gallicite:   152,100   0.90

Several small asteroid colonies in Gryphonne were being exploited by Solomon class mining platforms. However, the deposits were relatively small and soon suffered from reduced accessibility. Therefore, five of the platforms were towed to Sanctum, an uninhabited system adjacent to Scarus, and placed in orbit of a comet with almost ninety thousand tons of accessibility 0.9 Gallicite. This was another long journey as Gryphonne was eleven transits from Sanctum.

Sanctum Comet #2 Survey Report
Duranium:   47,151   0.90
Gallicite:   87,876   1.00

Exploration continued on the frontiers of the Imperium. Two separate expeditions, the first in Gryphonne’s only open jump chain and the second in the recently discovered systems around Gereon, merged when a link was found between Septimus, two jumps from Gryphonne, and Alaric, adjacent to Gereon. This link created a loop of six systems, comprising Gryphonne, Davin, Gereon, Alaric, Septimus and Tigrus. A geological survey of Tannhauser Gate, also adjacent to Gereon, revealed several bodies with useful deposits, including a colony cost 2.00 dwarf planet and the second moon of a superjovian in the outer system. Over the course of the year, tugs moved the terraforming platforms in the Davin system to the third planet of Tannhauser Gate. The planet lacked both water and atmosphere but was smaller than Mercury and therefore much easier to terraform than an Earth-sized world.

Tannhauser Gate III Survey Report
Duranium:   80,000   0.70
Tritanium:   384,400   0.50
Mercassium:   2,958,400   0.10
Vendarite:   2,131,600   0.40
Sorium:   176,400   0.50
Uridium:   518,400   0.10
Corundium:   640,000   0.70
Gallicite:   40,000   0.60

Tannhauser Gate IX – Moon 2 Survey Report
Duranium:   192,200   0.80
Neutronium:   40,000   0.70
Boronide:   608,400   1.00
Mercassium:   96,100   0.80
Sorium:   883,600   0.90
Uridium:   202,500   0.90
Gallicite:   160,000   0.70

The exploration beyond Lysades continued with the discovery of two new systems; Maccabeus, a planetless red dwarf, and Vostroya, a G0-IV yellow sub-giant. The latter had a superjovian in the habitable zone, resulting in three colony cost 2.00 moons and fifteen colony cost 2.00 LG moons. A new expedition conducted a gravitational survey of Erebus, a system two jumps outward from Taranis via Baal, and discovered the systems of Fortis Binary and Tarsis Ultra. Fortis Binary had a pair of colony cost 2.00 worlds, one of which had 70% water, while Tarsis Ultra had eleven planets, over fifty moons and a large asteroid belt. A geological survey was still underway at the end of the year but had already discovered a number of asteroid with mining potential.

New ship construction was very limited in Y2518 due to the Gallicite crisis and the need to refit existing ships. The new Tempest II class survey frigate Red Dawn and a pair of Ambrosia class fuel harvesters were completed at the Centaurus Colony, while the shipyards of Terra constructed two Solomon class mining platforms, five Starhawk III bombers and the first pair of Fury II Interceptors. Ten ships completed refits. The frigates Order Absolute and Pegasus were refitted to the Sword III class. The other eight ships were all converted to new designs.

Honoured Prophecy was the first destroyer refitted to the Cobra III class. Unlike most Imperial designs, the Cobra III was dedicated to a single role. Combat with the Tyranids had shown the benefits of a concentrated torpedo strike, so the Cobra III sacrificed the defence turret and weapon batteries of the Cobra II to create space for three more torpedo launchers and larger magazines. Both engines were replaced with the Ravenor RDS-400 Magneto-Plasma Drive.

Cobra III class Destroyer      7,500 tons       197 Crew       1,091.8 BP       TCS 150    TH 800    EM 990
5333 km/s      Armour 3-34       Shields 33-330       HTK 53      Sensors 6/0/0/0      DCR 4      PPV 30
Maint Life 2.10 Years     MSP 363    AFR 112%    IFR 1.6%    1YR 110    5YR 1,656    Max Repair 200 MSP
Magazine 338   
Commander    Control Rating 1   BRG   
Intended Deployment Time: 18 months    Morale Check Required   

Ravenor RDS-400 Magneto-Plasma Drive (2)    Power 800    Fuel Use 44.27%    Signature 400    Explosion 10%
Fuel Capacity 428,000 Litres    Range 23.2 billion km (50 days at full power)
Valentinian-Stern VS-33 Void Shield (1)     Recharge Time 330 seconds (0.1 per second)

Torpedo Launcher (5)     Missile Size: 6    Rate of Fire 25
MK I Torpedo Fire Control (1)     Range 53m km    Resolution 100
MK I Active Augur Torpedo (1)    Speed: 6,200 km/s    End: 1.3d     Range: 685.4m km    WH: 0    Size: 6    TH: 20/12/6
MK I Passive Augur Torpedo (1)    Speed: 6,200 km/s    End: 1.3d     Range: 686.2m km   
MK II Standard Torpedo (53)    Speed: 27,200 km/s    End: 32.4m     Range: 52.9m km

MK I Frigate Active Augur Array (1)     GPS 4800     Range 51.3m km    Resolution 100
MK I Thermal Augur Array (1)     Sensitivity 6     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  19.4m km

Bloodhawk, Dauntless and Vigilant became the first three Dauntless IV class light cruisers. In comparison to the standard Dauntless II, the Dauntless IV exchanged three lance batteries for a pair of particle lances, removed the boat bay, added the new engines, upgraded the energy weapon fire controls and increased the armour strength by replacing the existing armour with ceramic composite. The last change was controversial as it added to the refit cost. However, without the lower weight of the armour belt, the design would have had to sacrifice one of the weapon batteries. There was considerable debate among Imperial shipwrights and within Imperial High Command regarding whether to only upgrade engines on the older designs and build new ships with the updated fire controls, particle lances and armour. Some of the refits required almost seventy-five percent of the cost of a new ship.

The decision to go ahead with full refits was made for two reasons. Firstly, the existing ships all had experienced crews who were used to operating their ships within a fleet. Secondly, and more importantly, the Imperium could only maintain a certain tonnage of warships. This was partly due to the number of maintenance facilities but mainly due to the production of maintenance supplies, which required Duranium, Gallicite and Uridium. The existing maintenance facilities were all maxed out on production and that was barely sufficient to maintain the fleet. An increase in production would require the construction of additional maintenance facilities and the consumption of more Gallicite. For the moment at least, upgrading the existing fleet was more useful than building new ships that the Imperium would struggle to maintain.

Dauntless IV class Light Cruiser      18,000 tons       525 Crew       3,393.9 BP       TCS 360    TH 1,920    EM 2,970
5333 km/s      Armour 6-61       Shields 99-330       HTK 117      Sensors 6/4/0/0      DCR 12      PPV 90.32
Maint Life 2.29 Years     MSP 1,414    AFR 216%    IFR 3.0%    1YR 366    5YR 5,491    Max Repair 320 MSP
Commander    Control Rating 2   BRG   AUX   
Intended Deployment Time: 18 months    Morale Check Required   

Ravenor RDS-640 Magneto-Plasma Drive (3)    Power 1920    Fuel Use 35.00%    Signature 640    Explosion 10%
Fuel Capacity 773,000 Litres    Range 22.1 billion km (47 days at full power)
Valentinian-Stern VS-33 Void Shield (3)     Recharge Time 330 seconds (0.3 per second)

Dominus-Varnus Defence Systems DV-2 Defence Turret (1x6)    Range 30,000km     TS: 16000 km/s     Power 0-0     RM 30,000 km    ROF 5       
Valentinian Precision Armaments V12-240 Particle Lance (2)    Range 240,000km     TS: 5,333 km/s     Power 37-5    ROF 40       
Astaroth Kinetics AK-20 Weapons Battery (6x4)    Range 160,000km     TS: 5,333 km/s     Power 12-4     Accuracy Modifier 100%     RM 40,000 km    ROF 15       
MK I Defence Turret Fire Control (1)     Max Range: 64,000 km   TS: 16,000 km/s     84 69 53 38 22 6 0 0 0 0
MK II Energy Weapon Fire Control (2)     Max Range: 256,000 km   TS: 5,400 km/s     96 92 88 84 80 77 73 69 65 61
R17 Stellarator Fusion Reactor (2)     Total Power Output 34    Exp 5%

MK I Light Cruiser Active Augur Array (1)     GPS 11520     Range 77.1m km    Resolution 120
MK I Torpedo Detection Array (1)     GPS 16     Range 6.4m km    MCR 695.1k km    Resolution 1
MK I Small Electromagnetic Augur Array (1)     Sensitivity 4     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  15.8m km
MK I Thermal Augur Array (1)     Sensitivity 6     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  19.4m km

Angelic Blade and Dread Argent were the first of the five Strike Cruisers to be upgraded to the Vanguard III class. The design change was more substantial than the Dauntless IV as two of the three weapon batteries were removed. This was to create the necessary space to replace both lance batteries with particle lances. The particle lance was an ideal weapon for the strike cruiser as it would cut straight through the armour of most hostile vessels, creating an opening for Space Marines boarders to exploit.

Vanguard III class Strike Cruiser      18,000 tons       445 Crew       3,125.5 BP       TCS 360    TH 1,920    EM 990
5333 km/s      Armour 4-61       Shields 33-330       HTK 110      Sensors 6/8/0/0      DCR 13      PPV 55.32
Maint Life 2.43 Years     MSP 1,438    AFR 196%    IFR 2.7%    1YR 335    5YR 5,023    Max Repair 320 MSP
Hangar Deck Capacity 3,000 tons     
Commander    Control Rating 2   BRG   AUX   
Intended Deployment Time: 18 months    Flight Crew Berths 60    Morale Check Required   

Ravenor RDS-640 Magneto-Plasma Drive (3)    Power 1920    Fuel Use 35.00%    Signature 640    Explosion 10%
Fuel Capacity 1,262,000 Litres    Range 36.1 billion km (78 days at full power)
Valentinian-Stern VS-33 Void Shield (1)     Recharge Time 330 seconds (0.1 per second)

Dominus-Varnus Defence Systems DV-2 Defence Turret (1x6)    Range 30,000km     TS: 16000 km/s     Power 0-0     RM 30,000 km    ROF 5       
Astaroth Kinetics AK-20 Weapons Battery (1x4)    Range 160,000km     TS: 5,333 km/s     Power 12-4     Accuracy Modifier 100%     RM 40,000 km    ROF 15       
Valentinian Precision Armaments V12-240 Particle Lance (2)    Range 240,000km     TS: 5,333 km/s     Power 37-5    ROF 40       
MK I Defence Turret Fire Control (1)     Max Range: 64,000 km   TS: 16,000 km/s     84 69 53 38 22 6 0 0 0 0
MK II Energy Weapon Fire Control (2)     Max Range: 256,000 km   TS: 5,400 km/s     96 92 88 84 80 77 73 69 65 61
R14 Stellarator Fusion Reactor (1)     Total Power Output 14.5    Exp 5%

MK I Light Cruiser Active Augur Array (1)     GPS 11520     Range 77.1m km    Resolution 120
MK I Torpedo Detection Array (1)     GPS 16     Range 6.4m km    MCR 695.1k km    Resolution 1
MK I Thermal Augur Array (1)     Sensitivity 6     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  19.4m km
MK I Electromagnetic Augur Array (1)     Sensitivity 8     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  22.4m km

On July 14th Y2518, Imperial Wrath became the first Lunar III class cruiser. The four lance batteries were replaced by a pair of particle lances and the number of weapon batteries was reduced from ten to eight. The space created by those changes allowed the addition of three more torpedo launchers. While the total magazine capacity was not increased, which reduced the number of salvos, those torpedoes would be more likely to penetrate hostile defences due to the increased salvo size. As with the other refits, the new engines provided a one third increase in speed versus the ion-engined designs.

Lunar III class Cruiser      36,000 tons       1,024 Crew       6,184.6 BP       TCS 720    TH 3,840    EM 4,950
5333 km/s      Armour 7-97       Shields 165-330       HTK 225      Sensors 6/8/0/0      DCR 27      PPV 174.64
Maint Life 2.15 Years     MSP 2,899    AFR 384%    IFR 5.3%    1YR 838    5YR 12,570    Max Repair 480 MSP
Magazine 670   
Captain    Control Rating 2   BRG   AUX   
Intended Deployment Time: 18 months    Morale Check Required   

Ravenor RDS-960 Magneto-Plasma Drive (4)    Power 3840    Fuel Use 28.58%    Signature 960    Explosion 10%
Fuel Capacity 1,278,000 Litres    Range 22.4 billion km (48 days at full power)
Valentinian-Stern VS-33 Void Shield (5)     Recharge Time 330 seconds (0.5 per second)

Dominus-Varnus Defence Systems DV-2 Defence Turret (2x6)    Range 30,000km     TS: 16000 km/s     Power 0-0     RM 30,000 km    ROF 5       
Valentinian Precision Armaments V12-240 Particle Lance (2)    Range 240,000km     TS: 5,333 km/s     Power 37-5    ROF 40       
Astaroth Kinetics AK-20 Weapons Battery (8x4)    Range 160,000km     TS: 5,333 km/s     Power 12-4     Accuracy Modifier 100%     RM 40,000 km    ROF 15       
MK I Defence Turret Fire Control (2)     Max Range: 64,000 km   TS: 16,000 km/s     84 69 53 38 22 6 0 0 0 0
MK II Energy Weapon Fire Control (3)     Max Range: 256,000 km   TS: 5,400 km/s     96 92 88 84 80 77 73 69 65 61
R14 Stellarator Fusion Reactor (3)     Total Power Output 43.5    Exp 5%

Torpedo Launcher (9)     Missile Size: 6    Rate of Fire 25
MK I Torpedo Fire Control (2)     Range 53m km    Resolution 100
MK II Standard Torpedo (53)    Speed: 27,200 km/s    End: 32.4m     Range: 52.9m km

MK I Cruiser Active Augur Array (1)     GPS 21600     Range 101.7m km    Resolution 150
MK I Torpedo Detection Array (1)     GPS 16     Range 6.4m km    MCR 695.1k km    Resolution 1
MK I Electromagnetic Augur Array (1)     Sensitivity 8     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  22.4m km
MK I Thermal Augur Array (1)     Sensitivity 6     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  19.4m km

During Y2518, a breakthrough was made in engine boost technology, allowing engine designs with 250% of the power of a standard design, albeit with very high fuel consumption. The first implementation of this technology was in the Ravenor RDS-120A Attack Craft Drive. The Fury II incorporated this new engine, which increased its top speed to 12,000 km/s (vs 9600 km/s for the original Fury), in exchange for a forty percent reduction in range. The Tyranid scout/survey craft that was detected entering the Valon system in Y2517 had a speed of 11,317 km/s, so the Fury II was capable of running down that scout design if it was encountered again.

Fury II class Interceptor      500 tons       25 Crew       136.1 BP       TCS 10    TH 120    EM 0
12011 km/s      Armour 1-5       Shields 0-0       HTK 4      Sensors 0/0/0/0      DCR 0      PPV 3
Maint Life 4.97 Years     MSP 34    AFR 10%    IFR 0.1%    1YR 2    5YR 34    Max Repair 60 MSP
Lieutenant Commander    Control Rating 1   
Intended Deployment Time: 0.5 months    Morale Check Required   

Ravenor RDS-120A Attack Craft Drive (1)    Power 120    Fuel Use 1262.95%    Signature 120    Explosion 25%
Fuel Capacity 54,000 Litres    Range 1.5 billion km (35 hours at full power)

MK III Lascannon (1x4)    Range 40,000km     TS: 12,011 km/s     Power 3-3     Accuracy Modifier 100%     RM 40,000 km    ROF 5       
MK I Fury Fire Control (1)     Max Range: 64,000 km   TS: 10,000 km/s     84 69 53 38 22 6 0 0 0 0
R3 Stellarator Fusion Reactor (1)     Total Power Output 3.1    Exp 5%
MK I Fury Augur Array (1)     GPS 160     Range 9.4m km    Resolution 100

The higher boost technology also meant that faster torpedoes could be created and that torpedoes with the same level of boost as existing design would use less fuel. The small, one-use torpedo engines were capable of double the maximum boost of ships, but their fuel consumption increased substantially once they exceeded the ship boost threshold. With the higher baseline boost technology, torpedoes of a given boost level would be closer to that threshold than before and therefore more fuel efficient.

A MK II Standard Torpedo and a MK II Light Torpedo had been designed when magneto-plasma drive technology became available. In late Y2518, they were superseded by MK III designs incorporating the new boost technology. The MK III Light Torpedo was very different to the MK II, as it accepted a sixty-eight percent reduction in range in exchange for a forty-three percent increase in speed. The torpedo was intended for use against the Tyranids, who did not use torpedoes and therefore the lower range would not be an issue. The chance to hit would be double that of the MK I Light Torpedo used in previous engagements.

MK I Light Torpedo    Speed: 24,880 km/s    End: 14.2m     Range: 21.2m km    WH: 4    Size: 2.5   
MK II Light Torpedo    Speed: 33,600 km/s    End: 9.9m     Range: 20m km    WH: 4    Size: 2.5   
MK III Light Torpedo    Speed: 48,000 km/s    End: 2.2m     Range: 6.4m km    WH: 4    Size: 2.5   

MK I Standard Torpedo    Speed: 20,400 km/s    End: 40.9m     Range: 50m km    WH: 9    Size: 6   
MK II Standard Torpedo    Speed: 27,200 km/s    End: 32.4m     Range: 52.9m km    WH: 9    Size: 6
MK III Standard Torpedo    Speed: 32,000 km/s    End: 30.2m     Range: 57.9m km    WH: 9    Size: 6
 
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Offline Steve Walmsley (OP)

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Re: Crusade - Updates
« Reply #11 on: December 19, 2019, 06:14:21 PM »
Note this is second of two updates today

Y2519
With the respite from Tyranid attack entering its third year, the Imperium concentrated on improving its economic situation and resolving the Gallicite Crisis. A new colony of one million was founded on Tannhauser Gate III, a planet with eight mineral deposits, including mid-level accessibility Duranium and Gallicite. Thirteen Gaia class terraforming platforms were in orbit, building a biosphere from scratch. Terraformers were also at work in Scarus, Taros and Cypra Mundi.

Tannhauser Gate III Survey Report
Duranium:   80,000   0.70
Tritanium:   384,400   0.50
Mercassium:   2,958,400   0.10
Vendarite:   2,131,600   0.40
Sorium:   176,400   0.50
Uridium:   518,400   0.10
Corundium:   640,000   0.70
Gallicite:   40,000   0.60

Fortress Taranis and the colonies in Gryphonne and Scarus continued to grow in size throughout Y2519. By the end of the year, Taranis had one hundred and eighty-four mining complexes, one hundred and forty maintenance facilities and a population of thirty-one million. Gryphonne Prime was building up to make its Forge World status more than simply a designation. One hundred and twenty-five construction factories were in action, building installations for the colony rather than having them shipped in from Terra. Fifty mines and fifty maintenance facilities were also at the colony, although the real mineral production came from a hundred and sixty-five mines on Gryphonne Secundus, four Solomon class mining platforms in orbit of an asteroid and fifteen civilian mining complexes, based at three of the six civilian mining colonies in the Gryphonne system. Gryphonne Prime had a population of thirty-two million, while Gryphonne Secundus had a population of nineteen million.

The colony on Scarus IV had reached a population of seven million, which required considerable effort when considering its distance from Terra. Fifty mines were in place, along with twenty maintenance facilities that allowed the colony to have a permanent fleet presence. On the fifth moon of Scarus VIII were one hundred and fifty-seven automated mines. In the adjacent Sanctum system, nine Solomon class mining platforms were in orbit of a comet with deposits of Duranium and Gallicite. As there were no production facilities in Scarus, the minerals were being shipped back to Terra. Eventually, construction factories would be transported to the colony so it could expand using its own resources.

The survey frigates Red Dawn and Constantia continued their explorations in the chain of systems beyond Erebus, two jumps from Taranis. In Y2518, they had discovered Tarsis Ultra. A gravitational survey revealed a single new jump point that was probed in April Y2519, leading to Barbarus, an unremarkable red dwarf system. Barbarus also had a single outward jump point, which connected to Necromunda, another red dwarf but this time with two colony cost 2.00 planets. Both had substantial ice sheets but only minimal atmospheres. As Constantia approached the inner system to conduct a geological survey, she was struck by twenty-seven strength-6 warheads and blown to pieces. Red Dawn ran for the jump point system and escaped without any alien contact. As soon as she raised the alarm, the Cobra II class destroyer Implacable and the jump frigate Falchion were dispatched on a reconnaissance mission. The Tyranids did not use torpedoes so this was suspected to be a Necron system, or perhaps an entirely new race.



Implacable entered Necromunda on November 21st, leaving Falchion at the jump point, and moved to six hundred million kilometres from the inner system, where she launched drones at each of the three inner planets. The first detection, with the drones more than twenty million kilometres from the first target, was a Tesseract class ship in orbit of Necromunda III, confirming Necromunda as a Necron system. One unit of this class was detected in each of Praetoria and Prometheus, although its capabilities remained unknown. Once the drones moved within active sensor range, they detected a Shroud class and a Scythe class in orbit of the same planet.



The 20,000-ton Shroud class was known to be armed with eighteen defence turrets, while the Scythe was believed to be armed with the same anti-torpedoes as the Phaeron. Given their armament, both were assumed to be orbital bases with no available room for engines or fuel. Neither was capable of destroying Constantia at long range. Unless there were Necron ships elsewhere in the system, the likely origin of the torpedoes that destroyed the Imperium survey frigate was the Tesseract class. With twenty-seven torpedoes in the salvo, it was likely the Tesseract was also an orbital weapon platform, albeit one dedicated to attack rather than defence. The two drones approaching Necromunda II were both destroyed by anti-torpedoes. The others reached their targets without incident. If the defence consisted entirely of the three bases, this would be a target the Imperial Navy could attack without diverting its focus from the Tyranid threat.

Meanwhile, far across the Imperium, the survey frigates Black Moon and Quaesitor, operating in the area of space beyond Lysades that had become known as the Taros Chain, probed four new jump points found in Maccabeus, a recently discovered system adjacent to Taros and eight jumps from Sol. Scintilla was planetless while Moloch had two unremarkable terrestrial worlds. Gethsemane was a red dwarf binary with fifteen planets, four of which were colony cost 2.00. Three of those worlds had sufficient water, but none had anything beyond a trace atmosphere.

The fourth system was Gamma Virginis, a binary of two yellow-white F0-V main sequence stars with a total of twelve planets. The second planet of the primary was an archipelago world with oceans covering ninety-seven percent of the surface and an average surface temperature of 16C. Gravity was 1.18G and the pressure of the nitrogen atmosphere was 1.38 atm. With the additional of oxygen and the removal of a small amount of CO2, Gamma Virginis-A II would become an ideal habitable world. Black Moon conducted a geological survey and discovered a deposit of thirty-one million tons of accessibility 0.7 Gallicite, plus huge deposits of every other mineral. Unfortunately, the Duranium deposit was at minimal accessibility, but it was still a valuable discovery. The orbital survey also indicated a minimal possibility that a ground survey would reveal additional deposits or increase the accessibility of the existing deposits
 
Gamma Virginis A II Survey Report
Duranium:   32,756,418   0.10
Neutronium:   7,485,696   0.10
Corbomite:   4,691,556   0.10
Tritanium:   13,307,904   0.10
Boronide:   17,791,524   0.10
Mercassium:   1,299,600   0.10
Vendarite:   22,382,361   0.10
Sorium:   21,316,689   0.80
Uridium:   5,461,569   0.10
Corundium:   12,489,156   0.90
Gallicite:   31,203,396   0.70

The second of seven planets orbiting the companion star was an even better terraforming candidate. Gamma Virginis-B II had an atmosphere that would be breathable once the 0.004 atm of Sulphur Dioxide was removed. The temperature was on the high side at 51C, which would mean a colony cost of 0.54, but that could be lowered by adding Frigusium to the atmosphere. The planet was riven by great rift valleys, covered by jungles, while warm seas covered more than half the surface. Gravity was a comfortable 0.93G.

Black Moon completed her geological survey of the solar system of the primary star and moved toward the larger solar system of the companion star. On November 18th, as she approached the outermost gas giant and its seventeen moons, she detected twenty Necron thermal signatures in orbit of the gas giant. Fifteen were Ankh class ships of 72,000 tons, accompanied by five 20,000 ton Phaeron class escort cruisers. The Ankh had been previously encountered in the Prometheus system, where a dozen had been detected orbiting a gas giant. Imperium Intelligence believed they were fuel harvesters. The Phaerons were presumably on station to protect the harvesters. All the ships were stationary and therefore hard to detect on thermal sensors. Black Moon engaged her active sensors and detected a 21,000-ton Catacomb class vessel nineteen million kilometres from the rest. A Catacomb had also been detected in Prometheus but its capabilities were unknown.





Black Moon disengaged her active sensors to made her harder to detect and ran for the Maccabeus jump point. Quaesitor was also in the system, engaged in a gravitational survey, as well as an Empyrean class jump tender stationed on the jump point. The tender, intended to provide refuelling for the frigates once they completed their surveys, immediately jumped to Maccabeus and set course for the adjacent Taros system, which was on the stable jump network. Black Moon did not get far before she was destroyed by a large salvo of Necron anti-torpedoes.

Only days after the reconnaissance mission in Necromunda and the near simultaneous events in Gamma Virginis, a Tyranid Lictor class ship was detected in Taranis, just twenty million kilometres from the Alpha Centauri jump point. This was the same type of ship as detected in Valon and was classed as a scout or survey ship by Imperium Intelligence. Fortunately, the light cruiser Endurance, lead ship of her class, was picketing the Taranis – Alpha Centauri jump point. Unfortunately, the Lictor was too far away for Endurance to target with her two torpedo launchers. The detection was obviously mutual as the Lictor reversed course and raced away at 11,317 km/s, quickly vanishing from sensors. How the Lictor entered Taranis was unknown. A Vigilant class recon craft was picketing the Galen jump point, the known entry point for previous Tyranid incursions, while thermal buoys had recently been deployed at the Typhon and Baal jump points. It was possible the Lictor had been in Taranis before the Vigilant was deployed, but that was more than three years previously, so it seemed unlikely.



The Defiant class light cruiser Archangel had recently taken four Fury II class interceptors on board at Terra to replace the four Starhawk II bombers she left at Fortress Taranis. While the cruiser was still equipped with ion engines, the interceptors had boosted magneto-plasma engines and were slightly faster than the Lictor at 12,000 km/s. High Admiral Verus ordered Archangel to deploy to Taranis with a mission to find and destroy the Lictor. In Taranis itself, the Sword III class frigates Excalibur and Pegasus were detached from Battlefleet Taranis and ordered to picket the Baal and Galen jump points respectively. They could not catch the fast Tyranid scout but they could prevent it leaving the system. The Typhon jump point was only covered by a thermal buoy but was a dead-end system, so Captain Sicarius Ventris was very happy for the Lictor to enter that jump point, where it could be trapped.

Four days later, the Lictor appeared again; this time ten million kilometres from the Galen jump point and its route home to Tyranid space. Pegasus was only half way to its picket station so the Lictor was detected by the Vigilant class recon craft, which was within a million kilometres of the jump point. The Vigilant was unarmed so could do nothing to prevent the transit. The 2800 ton Lictor seemed far less concerned about the 477-ton recon craft than it had been about the 18,000-ton Endurance class light cruiser. It flew straight past the Vigilant and into the Galen jump point. With the Lictor back in Tyranid territory, Captain Ventris ordered the two frigates to return to Fortress Taranis. The Archangel would still join Battlefleet Taranis in case of any further incursions.

On December 29th, a 2700-ton Tyranid ship of a new type, designated as Pyrovore class, transited into Taranis from the Galen jump point. The ship ignored the Vigilant recon craft at the jump point and moved in-system at 11,783 km/s. It appeared to be on course for a comet approximately two thirds of the distance between the jump point and Taranis Colony. Given the similarity between this class and the Lictor, Imperium Intelligence came to the conclusion that the Lictor was a gravitational survey ship, while the Pyrovore was the geological equivalent.

The Archangel and its Furies were still only halfway from the Alpha Centauri jump point to the inner system. As there was no way they could intercept at the comet, they remained on their original course. The Firestorm IV class frigates Harrower and Liberator were dispatched to the Galen jump point to intercept the Pyrovore if its attempted to return home. One advantage for the Imperium was that a deep space tracking station was in place on the comet to act as an early warning for any Tyranid ships heading from the jump point to Fortress Taranis comet. Thirty-three hours after the Pyrovore transited, it was detected by the tracking station. The Pyrovore remained in orbit of the comet for two hours then set a new course for the inner system. Captain Sicarius ordered Archangel to set a course for the comet in an attempt to position the light cruiser behind the Pyrovore when it ran into the inner system defences. The Pyrovore maintained its course and moved out of range of the tracking station. Mysteriously, the Pyrovore did not arrive in the inner system as predicted by its course and speed when it moved out of sensor range. At the end of Y2519, its location was unknown.

The discovery of two new Necron tomb worlds, and the loss of two more survey frigates, prompted a strategy review at Imperium High Command, led by High Admiral Verus. There was consensus that the fleet was not yet in a position to mount a sustained offensive against the Tyranids. The Tyranids were apparently much higher tech than the Imperium, the total size of their forces was unknown and the Imperial Navy need to complete its refits and create a store of maintenance supplies. There was acknowledgement the Navy needed to maintain a strong force in Taranis and monitor the other Tyranid avenues of advance.

The Necrons presented a different challenge. There were six known tomb world systems; in order of discovery, Prometheus, Praetoria, Cerix Magnus, Antagonis, Gamma Virginis and Necromunda. The first encounter was in Y2507, while the last four worlds had all been discovered in the previous three years. Based on the evidence gathered so far, Imperium Intelligence believed the Necrons did not leave their systems, which meant the threat presented to the Imperium was relatively low, beyond their destruction of unsuspecting survey ships. However, each of the systems they occupied contained valuable real estate and resources and, if Procyon was any guide, ancient ruins that could exploited for installations and technology. The technology in particular was of interest as it could reduce the capability gap between the Imperium and the Tyranids.

The primary conclusion of the strategy review was that a new fleet should be created with the sole objective of conquering Necron systems. This fleet would rely on energy weapons, although some bomber support would be available, as the main torpedo combatants were needed to counter the Tyranid capital ships. The new fleet would select its targets based on the known strength of the defences and the proximity of Imperium bases that could provide support for the attack. As refits were completed and more capable ships made available, the new ‘Expeditionary Fleet’ could tackle more challenging targets. To aid this process, Imperium Intelligence provided a review of the six Necron systems.

CC2 = Colony Cost 2.00 world, GT = Good Terraforming Prospect, XT = Excellent Terraforming Prospect.

Prometheus
Discovered: January Y2507
Location: Two transits from Endymion.
System Summary: G5-V primary with seven planets. 4x CC2, 1x XT, 1x GT.
Intelligence Source: Augur torpedoes sent to seven planets
Known Forces: 6x XX Reaper, 2x XX Cartouche, 3x FF Scarab, 3x ES Jackal, 2x ODP Scythe, 2x ODP Shroud, 1x OWP Tesseract, 12x FH Ankh.
Notes: Reaper and Cartouche are 20,000-ton classes of unknown type and capability.

Praetoria
Discovered: June Y2511
Location: Adjacent to Davin. Two transits from Gryphonne and Endymion
System Summary: M4-V red dwarf with two planets. 2x CC2, 1x GT.
Intelligence Source: Augur torpedoes sent to both planets
Known Forces: 3x CA Sautekh, 3x CLE Phaeron, 2x DD Cairn, 2x DD Dirge, 3x DD Khopesh, 2x ES Jackal, 2x SC Mephrit, 2x ODP Scythe, 2x ODP Shroud, 1x OWP Tesseract

Cerix Magnus
Discovered: May Y2516
Location: Adjacent to Scarus
System Summary: M6-V red dwarf with three planets. One world is colony cost 0.3.
Intelligence Source: Encountered Necron forces on jump point. No scan of inner system.
Known Forces: 1x CLE Phaeron, 1x DD Cairn, 1x DD Dirge, 1x DD Khopesh

Antagonis
Discovered: May Y2517
Location: Two transits from Davin via Gereon.
System Summary: K0-V primary with six planets. 1x CC2. One world that would be XT except for high grav.
Intelligence Source: Augur torpedoes sent to Antagonis II
Known Forces: 1x CLE Phaeron, 1x DD Cairn, 1x DD Dirge, 1x DD Khopesh, 2x ODP Scythe, 2x ODP Shroud

Gamma Virginis
Discovered: August Y2519
Location: Two transits from terraforming operation in Taros. Four from nearest colony in Macharia.
System Summary: Binary of two F0-V stars with twelve planets. 2x XT.
Intelligence Source: A component surveyed. Necron harvesters detected at outermost planet of companion star but no inner system scan conducted.
Known Forces: 5x CLE Phaeron, 15x FH Ankh. Probable large force yet to be detected.

Necromunda
Discovered: September Y2519
Location: Five transits from Taranis, which is closest Imperium colony.
System Summary: M2-V red dwarf with ten planets. 2x CC2
Intelligence Source: Augur torpedoes sent to three innermost planets.
Known Forces: 1x ODP Scythe, 1x ODP Shroud, 1x OWP Tesseract

Necromunda appeared to have the smallest defensive force, but a round trip from the nearest base at Taranis would be twenty-five billion kilometres, which meant refuelling en route. Cerix Magnus was an attractive prospect at it was adjacent to Scarus, which already had the foundations in place for a fleet base, but it would require a jump point assault and the forces in the inner system were unknown. Gamma Virginis, with its colossal Gallicite deposit and near-habitable worlds was probably the greatest prize, but there were two problems. Firstly, it was four transits from the nearest Imperium colony and seven transits from Terra, which was the closest major base. A round trip from Terra was thirty billion kilometres. Secondly, while the total forces remained unknown, the presence of so many fuel harvesters suggested a defensive force that would require a large amount of fuel. The final decision would be made by whoever was chosen to command the expedition.

As well as the decision to create the new fleet, the strategy review concluded that the valuable Tempest class survey frigates were being used like canaries in coal mines. In too many cases they were detecting the threat with their own destruction. A new survey design was required that was capable of detecting the threat before it proved fatal. As that would require a ship with substantially improved sensor capabilities, the decision was made to increase the size of the design and to improve jump drive technology to free up additional space. Work on the new design would begin once the new jump technology was available.

New construction in Y2519 comprised the first Jericho II colony ship, four Gaia class terraforming platforms, four Ambrosia fuel harvester platforms, two Solomon class mining platforms, seven Starhawk III bombers and two Fury II interceptors. Refits included the Lunar III cruiser Iron Duke, the Dauntless IV light cruiser Divine Crusade, the Sword III frigates Achilles and Heroic Endeavour, the Firestorm IV frigates Cape Wrath and Just Persecution and the Cobra III destroyer Omnis Arcanum.

The Gallicite situation was still a massive constraint on shipbuilding, ordnance production and maintenance, but the crisis was beginning to ease due to the increased production of mining sites in Taranis, Gryphonne and Scarus. While there was still a long way to go, the creation of the Expeditionary Fleet was a sign that the Imperium was looking beyond its economic difficulties and beginning to consider a more offensive posture. The Tyranids were still a major threat and their recent renewed interest in Taranis was a concern, but the Imperial Navy was ready to go into battle on its own terms once more. It was nine years since the great victory in Procyon and four years since the defensive battles in Taranis that saved that system from the Tyranids. The Imperium needed a new victory to boost morale and begin the long process of pushing back the alien menace.
« Last Edit: December 19, 2019, 06:15:52 PM by Steve Walmsley »
 
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Re: Crusade - Updates
« Reply #12 on: December 20, 2019, 04:01:55 AM »
Complete Galactic Map 1st January Y2520



State of the Imperium – January 1st Y2520

Terra
Population: 1576.67m
Naval Shipyard Capacity: 489,622 tons
Commercial Shipyard Capacity: 2,520,000 tons
Maintenance Capacity: 666,000 tons
Research Facility: 48
Ground Force Construction Complex: 9
Construction Factory: 562
Ordnance Factory: 246
Fighter Factory: 100
Mine: 104
Automated Mine: 10
Fuel Refinery: 400
Maintenance Facility: 333
Financial Centre: 132
Deep Space Tracking Station: 9
Mass Driver: 1
Military Academy: 5
Naval Headquarters: 1
Spaceport: 1
Infrastructure: 30
Low Gravity Infrastructure: 100

Mars
Population: 46.38m
Mine: 100
Financial Centre: 249
Mass Driver: 1
Infrastructure: 9,270

Centaurus Colony
Population: 77.28m
Construction Factory: 105
Mine: 193
Maintenance Facility: 60
Deep Space Tracking Station: 3
Mass Driver: 1
Spaceport: 1

Gryphonne Prime
Population: 32.35m
Construction Factory: 125
Mine: 50
Maintenance Facility: 51
Deep Space Tracking Station: 1
Mass Driver: 1
Refuelling Station: 1
Ordnance Transfer Station: 1
Infrastructure: 1,900

Gryphonne Secundus
Population: 18.99m
Mine: 165
Mass Driver: 1

Fortress Taranis
Population: 31.42m
Mine: 184
Maintenance Facility: 140
Deep Space Tracking Station: 1
Refuelling Station: 1
Ordnance Transfer Station: 1
Cargo Shuttle Station: 1
Infrastructure: 131

Taranis Listening Post #1
Population: 0m
Deep Space Tracking Station: 1

Athena Colony
Population: 26.32m
Construction Factory: 52
Mine: 30
Maintenance Facility: 35
Financial Centre: 20
Deep Space Tracking Station: 1
Mass Driver: 1
Refuelling Station: 1
Infrastructure: 50

Endymion Base
Population: 21.65m
Mine: 25
Maintenance Facility: 100
Deep Space Tracking Station: 1
Mass Driver: 1
Refuelling Station: 1
Ordnance Transfer Station: 1

Regulus Colony
Population: 13.92m
Infrastructure: 2,840

Aeolus Colony
Population: 10.84m
Deep Space Tracking Station: 1
Infrastructure: 2,510

Prospero Colony
Population: 9.52m
Maintenance Facility: 35
Financial Centre: 30
Deep Space Tracking Station: 1
Refuelling Station: 1
Cargo Shuttle Station: 1
Infrastructure: 800

Arcadia Colony
Population: 9.13m
Maintenance Facility: 15
Deep Space Tracking Station: 1
Infrastructure: 1,820

Scarus-A IV
Population: 7.04m
Mine: 49
Automated Mine: 1
Maintenance Facility: 20
Deep Space Tracking Station: 1
Mass Driver: 1
Refuelling Station: 1
Infrastructure: 550

Scarus-A VIII - Moon 5
Population: 0m
Automated Mine: 157
Mass Driver: 3

Aurelia-A I
Population: 5.76m
Mine: 66
Deep Space Tracking Station: 1
Mass Driver: 1
Infrastructure: 1,150

Caliban-A III
Population: 5.23m
Construction Factory: 4
Fuel Refinery: 1
Refuelling Station: 1
Infrastructure: 200

Altair-A III
Population: 2.19m
Deep Space Tracking Station: 1
Refuelling Station: 1
Infrastructure: 437

Altair-A II
Population: 0.51m
Infrastructure: 100

Damocles Colony
Population: 2.59m
Financial Centre: 15
Deep Space Tracking Station: 1
Infrastructure: 200

Carpathia Colony
Population: 2.01m
Deep Space Tracking Station: 1
Infrastructure: 402

Tannhauser Gate-A III
Population: 1.04m
Infrastructure: 200

Davin-A II
Population: 1.01m
Infrastructure: 200

Procyon-A I
Population: 0.78m
Fuel Refinery: 1
Ordnance Transfer Station: 1
Infrastructure: 1,350
Low Gravity Infrastructure: 220

Cypra Mundi-A I
Population: 0.77m
Infrastructure: 100

Macharia-A II
Population: 0.51m
Deep Space Tracking Station: 1
Infrastructure: 100

Phaeton-A III - Moon 3
Population: 0m
Deep Space Tracking Station: 1

« Last Edit: December 20, 2019, 06:48:15 AM by Steve Walmsley »
 
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Re: Crusade - Updates
« Reply #13 on: December 31, 2019, 10:40:27 AM »
This is the first of three posts today

Y2520
The Pyrovore that had recently gone missing in Taranis appeared once again, this time heading back to the jump point. It was detected by a pair of Firestorm IV class frigates on a parallel course at a range of nine million kilometres. They turned to intercept, but the Pyrovore was simply too fast. It avoided the frigates and continued on course. However, the Pyrovore did not arrive as expected at the Galen jump point. Once again it had mysteriously vanished. Captain Ventris ordered the frigates and the light cruiser Archangel to picket the jump point.



On January 4th, the Lictor that had left Taranis in November Y2519 jumped back into the system, appearing just over thirty thousand kilometres from the Galen jump point. While Archangel was not yet on station, the frigates Harrower and Liberator were waiting and both crews were well trained. The Lictor was struck by four times by weapon batteries and once by a particle lance. It blew up and disappeared from sensors.

On January 22nd, the Dictator class cruiser Fortitude was refitted to the Dictator II, the first ‘carrier’ design in the history of the Imperial Navy. All the weapons were removed from the Dictator class and the armour was halved. The shields increased by eighteen percent due to the replacement of three old Valentinian-Stern VS-20 Void Shield generators with a single Valentinian-Stern VS-71 Void Shield generator. The space created by the modifications was used to double both the hangar capacity and the magazine capacity, allowing the Dictator II to carry a strike group of sixteen Starhawk III bombers. Fortitude was assigned as the flagship of the new Expeditionary Fleet, forming in orbit of Terra.

Dictator II class Cruiser      36,000 tons       627 Crew       4,763.8 BP       TCS 720    TH 3,840    EM 2,130
5333 km/s      Armour 3-97       Shields 71-426       HTK 171      Sensors 6/0/0/0      DCR 31      PPV 0
Maint Life 2.12 Years     MSP 2,563    AFR 334%    IFR 4.6%    1YR 761    5YR 11,422    Max Repair 480 MSP
Hangar Deck Capacity 8,000 tons     Magazine 1,920   
Captain    Control Rating 2   BRG   AUX   
Intended Deployment Time: 18 months    Flight Crew Berths 160    Morale Check Required   

Ravenor RDS-960 Magneto-Plasma Drive (4)    Power 3840    Fuel Use 28.58%    Signature 960    Explosion 10%
Fuel Capacity 2,513,000 Litres    Range 44 billion km (95 days at full power)
Valentinian-Stern VS-71 Void Shield (1)     Recharge Time 426 seconds (0.2 per second)

MK II Light Torpedo (768)    Speed: 33,600 km/s    End: 9.9m     Range: 20m km    WH: 4    Size: 2.5    TH: 112/67/33

MK I Cruiser Active Augur Array (1)     GPS 21600     Range 101.7m km    Resolution 150
MK I Torpedo Detection Array (1)     GPS 16     Range 6.4m km    MCR 695.1k km    Resolution 1
MK I Thermal Augur Array (1)     Sensitivity 6     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  19.4m km

The survey frigate Quaesitor returned to Gamma Virginis in early Y2020. Although there was a Necron tomb world in orbit of the companion star, a geological survey had been conducted in the solar system of the primary without interference from the Necrons. On that basis, it was deemed relatively safe to conducted a gravitational survey, except for those survey locations near the companion star. After several months without incident, a Delphinus class troop transport arrived to combat drop an Ordo Mineralis formation on Gamma Virginis-A II, which had a minimal chance that a ground survey would locate new deposits. A Gateway class stabilisation ship moved into the system to stabilise the Gamma Virginis side of the Maccabeus jump point. Discussions began at Imperium High Command regarding the creation of a forward base in the primary system to support an attack on the companion system.

In mid-Y2520, three key promotions took place. High Admiral Lucien Verus was promoted to Lord Admiral, while Gaius Caliban and Sicarius Ventris were both promoted to Lord-Captain. Ventris remained in command of Battlefleet Taranis, while Gaius Caliban was assigned to command the new Expeditionary Fleet from his flagship Fortitude. The command hierarchy of the Imperial Navy was growing to meet the needs of the Fleet. Where Verus was once the sole High Admiral, there were now two; Saul Dominus and Septimus Zagan. Below them were four Vice Admirals, eight Rear Admirals, sixteen Lord-Captains and more than two hundred officers in other ranks.

On June 26th, the survey frigate Emperor’s Light transited a jump point in Tarentus, adjacent to the newly colonised system of Tannhauser Gate, and discovered Rasalhague, an A5-III white giant with a diameter of eight million kilometres and a mass ten times that of Sol. The huge star had eight planets, with the innermost at six billion kilometres and the outermost at almost eight hundred billion. This system would be challenging to survey as the mass of the star meant the survey locations were much further out than for a Sol-type star, with the outer ring at approximately eighteen billion kilometres. Three locations were surveyed by the end of Y2520, revealing a single jump point that connected to Septimus, a known system two transits from Gryphonne.

On September 26th, Y2020, the main body of the Expeditionary Fleet departed Terra bound for Necromunda, the system with the most recently discovered Tomb World and the smallest known defending force. In command, aboard the Dictator II class cruiser Fortitude, was the recently promoted Lord-Captain Gaius Caliban. Caliban was a cautious officer so, after being appointed to the command of the Expeditionary Fleet, he decided that a small victory would good way to meld the fleet together. Two Orion supply ships and a Galaxy support ship had already gone ahead and were waiting at Taranis, which would be used as a forward staging post. Substantial ground forces were also en route to Taranis.

The fleet was light on heavy units, with the newly refitted Lunar III class Cruiser Agrippa as the only heavy warship.  The Dominator class cruiser Ultima Praetor was included due to its jump drive, but had not been refitted in over twenty years, while Fortitude, which was as large as Agrippa and newly refitted, was dedicated to the transport of Starhawk bombers. Four Dauntless IV class light cruisers, three Firestorm IV frigates and three Sword III class frigates were the core of the fleet and provided the bulk of the energy-range firepower. Two jump-capable Endeavour class light cruisers and a Falchion III jump frigate would allow jump point assaults, if required, while a pair of Cobra III class destroyers provided support to Agrippa in the event of a torpedo-range engagement. Finally, two Vanguard III class strike cruisers brought boarding capability and two companies of Space Marines. Except for the Dominator class cruiser and the two Endeavour class light cruisers, all ships in the Expeditionary Fleet had been refitted with new engines and other upgraded systems.

Expeditionary Fleet
Lunar III class Cruiser: Agrippa
Dictator II class Cruiser: Fortitude (flag)
Dominator class Cruiser: Ultima Praetor
Endeavour II class Light Cruiser: Endeavour, Sword of Voss
Dauntless IV class Light Cruiser: Divine Crusade, Guardian, Hammer of Truth, Vigilant
Vanguard III class Strike Cruiser: Angelic Blade, Dread Argent
Cobra III class Destroyer: Arbitrator, Omnis Arcanum
Firestorm IV class Frigate: Harrower, Just Persecution, Liberator
Sword III class Frigate: Achilles, Mariatus, Rapier
Falchion III class Jump Frigate: Scimitar
6x Thunderhawk II class Assault Transport:
16x Starhawk III class Bomber:
5x Aquila class Lander:

The Expeditionary Fleet refuelled at Taranis, where Harrower and Liberator joined after being detached from Battlefleet Taranis, then headed for the Baal jump point. The fleet would move though Baal, Erebus, Tarsis Ultra and Barbarus before entering Necromunda. The slow-moving supply ships and troop transports would follow in its wake. Battlefleet Centauri, comprising three light cruisers and the captured Necron destroyer Procyon Victory, moved into Taranis and took up position at the Taranis – Baal jump point to prevent any Tyranid raiders moving into the rear of the fleet and causing havoc among the support ships. On November 28th, the Expeditionary Fleet arrived at the Barbarus – Necromunda jump point. With fuel close to fifty percent for some ships, Lord-Captain Caliban, cautious as always, decided to wait for the supply ships to catch up and refuel the fleet before proceeding. One month later, the fleet transited into Necromunda and by the end of the year was halfway to the Tomb World of Necromunda II.

A week before the Expeditionary Force entered Necromunda, a new Tyranid Lictor jumped into Taranis. The light cruiser Archangel was on the jump point. She launched two standard torpedoes and engaged with two weapon batteries, scoring three hits with the latter. Archangel launched her strike group of four Fury II interceptors at the same moment that the Lictor turned and attempted to ram Archangel, without success. Both torpedoes missed, but twenty strength-1 hits from the lascannon of the Furies and Archangel’s defence turret left the Lictor dead in space. A follow-up volley destroyed the target.

In December Y2520, a new colony was founded on Mordian-B II. Mordian was a red dwarf binary, five jumps from Sol and two from Prospero. In fact, Mordian could be reached by three different routes from Sol; via Prospero, via Bernard’s Star and via Arcadia, with the latter two routes being six transits. The Bernard’s Star route was the shortest in terms of distance, travelling via Aeolus, AD Leonis, Golgotha and Ardium. In the race to find Gallicite deposits to support the massive refit program of the Imperial Navy, Mordian-B II had been overlooked due to the Duranium deposit on the planet being accessibility 0.6. Now the Imperium had plentiful Duranium, at least for the moment, attention focused on the planet’s two million tons of accessibility 1.0 Gallicite. Mordian had twice the size of the Gallicite deposit on Fortress Taranis, plus higher accessibility and a much safer location. The mines in Taranis, Scarus and Gryphonne, plus the comet mining operation in Sanctum, would meet the short-to-medium-term needs of the Imperium, once fully exploited, but Mordian offered a long-term supply source

Mordian-B II Survey Report.
Duranium:   2,832,200   0.60
Neutronium:   2,592,100   0.10
Corbomite:   1,587,600   0.50
Sorium:   44,100   0.60
Corundium:   11,289,600   0.20
Gallicite:   1,960,000   1.00

Furthermore, Mordian-B II was a good terraforming candidate. Liquid oceans covered seventy-five percent of the surface, the temperature was a balmy 17C and there was already a thin atmosphere of oxygen and nitrogen. Adding approximately 0.06 atm of oxygen and 0.18 atm of nitrogen would make Mordian-B II an ideal habitable world. The Emperor was displeased with his geological advisors who had not identified the opportunity much earlier. A million colonists were in place by the end of the year, along with a deep space tracking station.

New construction in Y2520 included nine Starhawk III bombers, a Jericho II colony ship, two Gaia class terraforming platforms, two Solomon class orbital mining platforms and two Ambrosia class fuel harvesters. Refits were completed on the Lunar III class cruiser Agrippa, the Dictator II class cruiser Fortitude, the Dauntless IV class light cruisers Guardian and Hammer of Truth, the Firestorm IV class frigates Maelstrom and Medusa, the Sword III class frigates Mariatus and Rapier, the Cobra III class destroyer Arbitrator and the Falchion III class jump frigates Scimitar and Katana. The Falchion refits took place at a shipyard in orbit of Gryphonne Prime.
 
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Re: Crusade - Updates
« Reply #14 on: December 31, 2019, 10:43:03 AM »
The second of three posts for today

Y2521
The Expeditionary Fleet moved across Necromunda without incident and detected the same three bases in orbit; a Tesseract, a Shroud and a Scythe, all of which were close to 20,000 tons. Every ship in the fleet prepared to defend against torpedo attack. Lord-Captain Caliban was confident his force was capable of dealing with same salvo of twenty-seven that was used to destroy Constantia in Y2519 and so far there was no evidence of any other Necron ship armed with anti-ship torpedoes, although the Shroud was armed with the small anti-torpedoes used by the Necrons. The anticipated attack did not materialise however, even when the fleet passed the wreck of Constantia. Either the Necrons were out of torpedoes, or they were holding fire for some reason; perhaps they did not believe they could penetrate the defences of the Expeditionary Fleet and did not want to waste ordnance.
 


As the fleet moved within six million kilometres of the planet, a ground forces signature was detected with a strength of 11,600 tons. The Necrons would most likely be fortified so the true size of the force would be much greater. At three million kilometres, the Necrons finally launched at attack. Forty-nine fast moving strength-3 thermal contacts approached the fleet at almost seventy thousand kilometres per second. Lord-Captain Caliban ordered his ships to reverse course. The incoming torpedoes would be difficult targets due to their high speed, so he wanted to ensure his fleet could move back out of range if necessary. A second wave appeared behind the first and a third wave of thirty-four slower moving strength-6 thermal contacts followed in their wake. It appeared the Necrons had waited until the Expeditionary Fleet was within range of both torpedo-armed bases before opening fire.



The first incoming salvo met a wall of imperial defensive fire from defence turrets, weapon batteries and even particle lances. Every single torpedo was destroyed. Unfortunately, the torpedo waves were arriving every ten seconds and the Astaroth Kinetics AK-20 Weapons Battery required fifteen seconds to recharge. Only the fast-firing defence turrets were available to engage the second wave. Despite their best efforts, twenty anti-torpedoes slammed into Ultima Praetor’s void shields, reducing them by a third. The faster moving anti-torpedo waves were overtaking the slower anti-ship torpedoes, so the third wave was also anti-torpedoes. Even though the weapon batteries had time to recharge before it arrived, nine anti-torpedoes penetrated the defences and struck Fortitude. Her shield strength fell to eighty-seven percent. Fortitude suffered twenty hits from the fourth wave and seven more from the fifth, reducing her shields to fifty-four percent.

The sixth wave was the first of the slower anti-ship torpedoes and was easily dealt with by the fleet. The seventh was more high speed anti-torpedoes. Five struck Ultima Praetor. The eighth wave was the one dreaded by Lord-Captain Caliban as forty-nine anti-torpedoes and thirty-four anti-ship torpedoes arrived together. As it arrived only ten seconds after the previous wave, the weapon batteries were not yet recharged. The defence turrets were completely overwhelmed. Nineteen of the larger torpedoes and twenty-four anti-torpedoes hit their targets. Fortunately, those hits were spread across three different ships. The Cobra III class destroyer Omnis Arcanum was struck by nine anti-ship torpedoes with strength-6 warheads. Five were enough to remove her shields and the other four damaged her armour. Two hit in the same place, creating a hole in the armour and inflicting minor internal damage. No systems were destroyed. Her sister ship Arbitrator was hit by ten strength-6 warheads, five of which reached her armour but did not penetrate. The twenty-four smaller warheads all hit the light cruiser Endeavour, reducing her shields to sixty-four percent.

To Lord-Captain Caliban’s relief the four torpedo waves still on sensors were all the larger, anti-ship torpedoes. The fleet continued moving away from the planet as he wanted to reassess before attempting to move within energy range of the three bases. In total, seven more waves attacked the fleet, but the slower missiles were much easier to handle and the fleet suffered no further damage. Caliban contacted Lord-Admiral Verus and requested reinforcements. The only refitted ships available were in Battlefleet Taranis. Despite concerns about weakening the defences of the Taranis system, Verus authorised the detachment of the Lunar III class cruiser Imperial Wrath and all four of the fleet’s Sword III class frigates, which were designed as escort ships. The Expeditionary Fleet moved to one hundred million kilometres from the planet and held position, with the exception of the jump cruiser Ultima Praetor, which headed for the jump point to escort the reinforcements into Necromunda.

The reinforcements arrived on February 3rd. Once they were absorbed into the Expeditionary Fleet, Lord-Captain Caliban gave the order to advance on the planet once more. The new ships provided an additional twenty weapon batteries, two DV-2 defence turrets and eight smaller DV-1 turrets. During the previous approach, the Necrons opened fire at just under three million kilometres. On this approach, that point was passed without incident. When the fleet passed one million kilometres, Caliban began to seriously consider the idea that the Necron bases were out of ordnance. He ordered the fleet to move to one hundred and fifty thousand kilometres, just inside maximum range of weapon batteries and well inside the range for particle lances, and hold position. The Necrons suddenly launched full salvos with the range at 417,000 kilometres. There would be no option to run out of range this time.



Lord-Captain Caliban had a difficult decision to make. If the Expeditionary Fleet continued onward, it would be in energy range in just over a minute, or fifty seconds if the slower Dominator and Endeavours were detached. However, that would speed up the arrival of each torpedo wave, meaning that the weapon batteries would potentially be firing at only one salvo in three. Reversing course to spread out the torpedo waves would make them easier to defend against, but would sacrifice the current position so close to the enemy, plus there was no way to know just how many torpedoes the Necrons had. Retreating could mean the fleet would be back in the same position in a few hours or days. Finally, there was a chance the Necrons had surface-to-orbit weapons on the planet, which would complicate the situation, but that would apply whenever the fleet approached the planet.

Although his natural reaction was to pull back and improve defence, Caliban knew that didn’t solve the long-term problem, so he decided to press ahead. He ordered the cruisers Agrippa and Imperial Wrath and the destroyers Omnis Arcanum and Arbitrator, both of which still had armour damage, to launch torpedoes against the Scythe class base. There was minimal chance that any of the ship-launched torpedoes would reach their target, but they might divert some of the anti-torpedoes. Caliban’s own ship, Fortitude, carried sixteen Starhawk III bombers, each of which could launch a dozen light torpedoes. He ordered those bombers into immediate action. Unlike the torpedo-armed ships, he instructed the bombers to synchronise their launch as he believed a wave of almost two hundred light torpedoes, launched from relatively close range, might have a chance to penetrate the defences. Unfortunately, the bombers were armed with the MK I light torpedo even though Fortitude’s magazines were loaded with the MK II. At this point there was no time to re-arm.

The first incoming wave of anti-torpedoes was shot down by a combination of defence turrets and weapon batteries, while the following wave of anti-ship torpedoes was taken out by defence turrets only. Most of the second wave of Necron anti-torpedoes engaged the first wave of Imperial MK II standard torpedoes, taking the immediate heat off the Expeditionary Fleet. Those anti-torpedoes directed against the Fleet were destroyed by defensive fire. Seven Imperial torpedoes actually made it through the Necron anti-torpedoes and were destroyed by energy fire from the Shroud class base. As the range fell below 300,000 kilometres, the Fleet destroyed a second wave of anti-ship torpedoes and launched its own second wave. A new Necron torpedo wave launched simultaneously. All the Starhawks except one were ready to fire.



Due to the simultaneous launch, the Necron anti-torpedoes targeted the Imperial warships rather than their torpedoes. A single anti-torpedo penetrated the Fleet’s defences and struck the void shield of Imperial Wrath. The following wave of anti-ship torpedoes was easily destroyed. The Necrons had time to launch more anti-torpedoes before the Imperial torpedoes arrived at their targets, but ten still reached point blank range before being shot down by the Shroud. At 217,000 kilometres, with another wave of Necron torpedoes halfway to the fleet and a large wave of anti-torpedoes just launching, the Starhawks finally launched. One hundred and ninety-six light torpedoes headed straight for the Scythe class base.



Once again, the simultaneous launch meant the two torpedo waves ignored each other. The much faster Necron anti-torpedoes caught the slower Necron anti-ship torpedoes and both waves arrived at the Expeditionary Fleet together. This time, the disruption to the Necron firing pattern caused by the Imperial ship-launched torpedoes meant that all weapon batteries were recharged and available. The defensive firepower of the reinforced fleet was sufficient to destroy every inbound torpedo. The timing of the launches also meant the Starhawk-launched torpedoes would reach their target before the Scythe could launch another full salvo of anti-torpedoes. The Shroud class base destroyed one hundred of the inbound light torpedoes. The survivors were sufficient to blow the Scythe into tiny pieces. The Expeditionary Fleet easily defeated another wave of anti-ship torpedoes.

Lord-Captain Caliban ordered his torpedo-armed combatants to cease fire and the Starhawks to land. The Fleet came to a halt one hundred and fifty thousand kilometres from the planet. Caliban directed those ships armed with Particle Lances to target the Shroud in order to disable its defence turrets, while the rest of the Fleet targeted incoming torpedo salvos. The Tesseract was not a threat as the Fleet could shoot down its missiles but the defence turrets of the Shroud would shred anything moving close to Necromunda II. The weapon batteries kept up a hail of fire against the armour, accompanied by the occasional bright flash of a particle lance. Fifty seconds after the Expeditionary Fleet opened fire, the Shroud exploded. During the brief action, several further waves of torpedoes from the Tesseract had been shot down.

With the Shroud eliminated, Caliban ordered the Fleet to hold fire and move closer to the planet. After shrugging off further torpedo salvos from the Tesseract, the Fleet halted just ten thousand kilometres from the alien base. Six Thunderhawk assault transports, each with a Space Marine Assault Force, launched from the two Vanguard III strike cruisers and headed straight for the Tesseract. With the Fleet at almost point-blank range, they were able to combat drop their marines and move back to their parent strike cruisers before the weapon platform could recycle launchers and target them. It would take several minutes for the marines to blast through the armour, depending on the thickness, before engaging the crew. Confident in his fleet’s defence and with no sign of surface-based weapons, Lord-Captain Caliban held his ships close to the planet.

Four minutes after landing, the Space Marines were inside the base and engaging the robotic crew. During that time, fourteen further salvos of torpedoes had been destroyed by the Expeditionary Fleet before the Tesseract finally ceased fire. As they advanced, many marines were struck by weapon fire and a dozen hits penetrated their armour within the first sixty seconds of the boarding action. In every case, their enhanced physiology kept them alive. In those same sixty seconds, almost three hundred Necron robots were destroyed. Combat grew more intense as the Space Marines their way deeper into the base, especially in engineering and on the command deck. While they still cut down Necrons in droves, the return fire became more effective. Five Space Marines, including a Terminator, were killed before the base was fully secured.

The Tesseract Orbital Weapon Platform was equipped with thirty-four torpedo launchers and a single close-in weapon system, known in the Imperium as a commercial defence turret. The sensors and fire controls were generally more capable than their Imperium equivalents. The main problem was the maintenance life. The Necron robots somehow maintained their ships without the need for external facilities, which made sense as they were guarding dead worlds that had presumably been that way for centuries. However, the new human prize crew was not capable of matching that ability, so the base had to be moved somewhere it could be maintained. A Goliath class tug was dispatched from Centaurus Colony. The Necromunda system was now clear of Necron space-capable forces, although Necromunda II still had a significant garrison. Several troop transports were en route to resolve that issue.

Tesseract class Orbital Weapon Platform      19,775 tons       584 Crew       2,965.4 BP       TCS 396    TH 0    EM 0
1 km/s      Armour 5-65       Shields 0-0       HTK 109      Sensors 11/22/0/0      DCR 6      PPV 136
Maint Life 0.25 Years     MSP 562    AFR 521%    IFR 7.2%    1YR 2,237    5YR 33,556    Max Repair 879.7 MSP
Magazine 3,209   
Commander    Control Rating 2   BRG   AUX   
Intended Deployment Time: 6 months    Morale Check Required   

CIWS-200 (1x8)    Range 1000 km     TS: 20,000 km/s     ROF 5       
Size 4 Missile Launcher (34)     Missile Size: 4    Rate of Fire 15
Missile Fire Control FC116-R111 (2)     Range 116.6m km    Resolution 111

Active Search Sensor AS123-R111 (1)     GPS 20979     Range 123.6m km    Resolution 111
Thermal Sensor TH1-11 (1)     Sensitivity 11     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  26.2m km
EM Sensor EM2-22 (1)     Sensitivity 22     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  37.1m km

On February 21st, the Imperial Guard launched an invasion of Necromunda II. The invasion force comprised three infantry corps, the Cadian Corps, the Catachan Jungle Fighters and the Valhallan Ice Warriors, with a total of twelve regiments, plus a strong armoured force of six regiments. The Konig Armoured Regiment, the Krieg Armoured Regiment and the Magdellan Tank Regiment were veterans of Procyon and Taranis, while the Varolian Armoured Regiment, the Victarian Tank Regiment and the Vitrian Dragoons were recently trained and seeing action for the first time.

N.B. New Ground Intel Rules from this point

The size of the alien ground force was unknown, beyond the contact detected from orbit, and initial strength reports could be significantly higher or lower than the reality. The first reports from the front line suggested a Necron force of more than three thousand Centurions, supported by four hundred Praetorian Combat Mechs and Decurion AA Mechs, which would be double the size of the defensive force on Procyon. Given the much smaller defensive fleet in Necromunda, General Leman Cain, commanding the assault, was inclined to believe that estimate was high. All six armoured regiments launched an immediate assault while the infantry began to dig in.

The Vitrian Dragoons ran into difficulty immediately. Inexperience led to an ambush by a force of Praetorians, huge walking tanks with arm-mounted weapons, that destroyed eleven Leman Russ Battle Tanks, two Annihilator Tank Destroyers, five Hydra Flak Tanks and several supply vehicles. Nine of the formidable Praetorians were destroyed in return, seven by the Imperial armour, one by the strike cruiser Dread Argent firing in support of the 5th Valhallan and one by the heroic guardsmen of the 1st Valhallan; the latter was struck by over six hundred lasgun rounds, twenty-four of which penetrated the armour. A single round found a weak spot and felled the formidable Praetorian. Sixty Centurions and seven Decurions were also destroyed.

After the first few hours of combat, Imperium Intelligence revised their estimate of enemy strength to around fifty percent of the initial numbers, which brought it roughly in line with the Necron garrison on Procyon I. The armoured regiments continued to take the brunt of the hostile fire, with the veteran Magdellan Tank Regiment losing nine tanks, including an Annihilator, during the afternoon of the first day. The Necrons lost four Praetorians, four Decurions and another sixty Centurions. For the remainder of the first day and all through the second, the infantry made a series of attacks, trying to take pressure off the armour. Casualties were high. Over a period of thirty-two hours, more than two thousand Guardsmen were killed and eighty-six Chimeras destroyed, mainly from the 1st Cadian, 4th Catachan and the 2nd and 5th Valhallan. The armour took advantage of the respite and, together with the infantry and the orbital support, destroyed well over three hundred Necron units, including thirty-four Praetorians.

By the dawn of the third day, the intel estimates on the hostile force were firming up. The Necrons were believed to still have more than a thousand Centurions, supported by perhaps a hundred Praetorians and half that number of Decurions. Imperium casualties were high in absolute terms, but General Cain believed they were lower in percentage terms than the defenders. The battles of the third day cost another seven hundred Guardsmen plus six tanks from the Varolian Armoured Regiment, but also saw the first sign of ultimate victory. The three veteran armoured regiments, the Konig, Krieg and Magdellan, broke through the Necron lines just after darkness fell. The Konig alone accounted for thirty-two Centurions and five Praetorians in the hours following the attack.

The following morning, the veteran armour continued its advance, cutting through Necron lines, and was joined by the Victarian Tank Regiment, although the latter lost five of its Leman Russ II battle tanks. Necron losses continued to mount. By the afternoon, all six armoured regiments were slicing though the alien mechs almost at will. General Cain ordered a general advance from the infantry. Even with the Guardsmen leaving their partial fortifications, their losses on day four were only half that of the previous day. Total Necron losses on day four included three hundred and fifty Centurions, thirty-two Praetorians and thirteen Decurions.

On the morning of day five, the 1st Valhallan made its own breakthrough. With an infantry regiment able to break the Necron lines, the end was in sight. Several hours later, the Necron organization completely collapsed. Every Imperial regiment was inside their lines, forcing the defenders into smaller and smaller groups. By nightfall, the battle was over and Necromunda II belonged to the Imperium. Total Imperial casualties were approximately three thousand three hundred Guardsmen, four hundred supporting units, such as Chimeras, lascannon teams and flak platforms, thirty Leman Russ battle tanks, three Annihilator tank destroyers and three regimental headquarters.

Several medals were awarded during the course of the Necromunda campaign, both in space and on the ground. For their contribution to victory on the surface, Colonels Raziel Glacius of the Magdellan Tank Regiment and Regulus Gaunt of the Krieg Armoured Regiment were awarded the Silver Star, while General Nero Vorax of the Valhalla Ice Warriors, Colonels Calas Adramelech of the 2nd Valhallan, Eremiel Hector of the 3rd Valhallan and Zadkiel Gavinus of the 3rd Cadian were awarded the Bronze Star. In space, Commanders Rogal Pertinax of the Hammer of Truth was awarded the Bronze Star for destruction of hostile warships, while Captains Dante Gebbet of the Imperial Wrath and Ahzek Aulis of the Ultima Praetor plus Commanders Traino Morax of the Vigilant and Vicconius Wilder of the Guardian were awarded the Meritorious Service Medal for their contribution to the defence of the Expeditionary Force. Finally, Majors Lucifer Agramos of the Crimson Sabres Space Marine Assault Force, Nathaniel Mikelus of the Dark Angels SMAF and Leonidas Morax of the Death Eagles SMAF were awarded the Bronze Star for the action that resulted in the capture of a Necron base. All naval and ground force officers who participated in the campaign were awarded the Necromunda Combat Ribbon.

A troop transport waiting in orbit unloaded four Ordo Xenos and four Ordos Machinum formations. The four regiments of the Catachan Jungle Fighters remained on the planet as a garrison, while the rest of the assault force was loaded on four Cetaceous class troop transports to begin the long journey back to Terra, where they would absorb replacements and new equipment. The Expeditionary Fleet remained in orbit for the moment to cover the forthcoming planetary survey and provide protection against any hitherto undetected Necron forces in the system.

On March 16th the survey frigate Red Dawn completed an orbital survey of Necromunda II, revealing seven multi-million-ton deposits, albeit at mainly mid-to-low accessibility, and a ruined alien settlement. Shortly thereafter, the Ordo Xenos completed their investigation and identified thirty-four abandoned installations. The Ordo Machinum formations began work immediately. Red Dawn conducted a geological survey of the whole system with the highlight being Necromunda IV, a gas giant with three million tons of accessibility 1.0 Sorium. Given the distance from the core systems of the Imperium, it was unlikely that the planet would take over from the fuel harvesting operations in Alpha Centauri, Athena and Prospero in the near term, but it could prove to be a valuable resource as the Imperium grew larger.

Necromunda II Survey Report
Duranium:   20,250,248   0.30
Corbomite:   1,249,924   0.80
Tritanium:   3,108,169   0.50
Boronide:   9,060,100   0.10
Vendarite:   2,265,025   0.70
Uridium:   16,337,764   0.20
Corundium:   9,853,321   0.10

Recovery operations in the ruins were completed by late July. The Ordos Machinum formations successfully restored two research facilities, a ground force construction complex, an ordnance transfer station, six mining complexes, one automated mining complex, four construction factories, one ordnance factory, two financial centres, five maintenance facilities, twenty million litres of fuel, eleven thousand wealth, six thousand tons of Sorium and four hundred units of infrastructure. The installations would be transferred to Sol as freighters became available, while the infrastructure provided ready-made accommodation for settlers. The first colonists arrived in October.
« Last Edit: December 31, 2019, 11:02:02 AM by Steve Walmsley »
 
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