Author Topic: The Battles for Proxima Centauri, 2068  (Read 865 times)

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Offline IanD

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The Battles for Proxima Centauri, 2068
« on: October 23, 2009, 06:11:41 AM »
Just found the original posting and decided to restore it. Please remeber this was played out in Aurora v4.xx

The Battles for Proxima Centauri

The First Battle For Proxima Centauri

Early in 2068 the Terran Federation Ship Discovery transited the first of 4 jump points identified in Sol System. Initial scans of the new solar system revealed it to be Proxima Centauri, and the nearest planet to the primary was Earth–like. The Federation Battle Group consisting of the FFGs Ajax, Achilles, Arethusa, Leander and Dido with the Escorts Nelson, Rodney and Cunningham was called in to perform a close flyby of Proxima Centauri II, but there were no signs of higher life forms within the inner system. The fleet returned to base and allowed the Deep Space Survey and the Geo-Survey Squadrons to begin their system survey.

All was well until Outreach 003, a Geo-survey vessel, was approaching Asteroid #86.
Outreach #003. Captain: Commander Abigail Richards, 14th August 2068.
Transcript of Bridge recorder;
Commander Richards  “Pilot, take us in, Sensors ready for scan. Go!”
Leading Scan Tech Nicols  “Captain, I have a strength 10 thermal contact! There’s something down there!”
Commander Richards   “Scan, can you be more specific?”
Leading Scan Tech Nicols “Sir, I am picking up waste heat from the power units for at least two active installations.”
Commander Richards  “Sensors are we being targeted?”
Senior Sensor Tech Wilson “No Sir, no EM signature from the target, local space is clear”
Commander Richards  “Navigation, do we have any sensor posts or mining colonies in the belt? 
Lieutenant O’Grady (Nav) “No sir, they’re not ours! The system is not yet open for colonisation”
Commander Richards  “Comms, send a priority flash for Fleet HQ. Append scan readout, Pilot, set up next target.”

Outreach #003 moved on

The message shortly reached Fleet HQ via the jump gate, where the decision to investigate the anomalous contact was taken. The TFS Wellington, a new troop transport capable of 2500 k/s, fresh out of the yards was slated to lift two combat divisions to New Avalon (Proxima Centauri II) to take possession and hold it for the Federation. Her mission profile was changed to first investigate Asteroid #86, with prejudice if required. With lamentable foresight the Wellington lacked any offensive or defensive systems apart from her armour.

On the 19th August 2068 the TFS Wellington duly loaded the 6th mobile infantry (commander: Lieutenant Commander Chloe John) and the 16th Assault Infantry Divisions (commander: Commander Shane Walrath; Senior Officer Ground Forces Proxima Centauri) and proceeded to the Proxima Centauri system.

As the Wellington approached Asteroid #86, all was quite.
TFS Wellington. Captain: Lieutenant Commander Luce Butter, 10th October 2068. Transcript of Bridge recorder;

Scan Tech Gorman  “Captain, Thermal Contact, Strength 10 detected.”
Lieutenant Commander Butter  “EWar, any EM emissions?”
Lieutenant Breslau (Ewar)  “No Sir! Quite across all the spectrum, no radiation detectable apart from the IR leaks.”
Lieutenant Commander Butter  “Pilot, begin approach.”
Pilot Agnew “Aye sir, beginning approach run, all systems green”
Lieutenant Commander Butter “Comms, patch me through to Commander Walrath and Lieutenant Commander John“
Lieutenant Yarra (Comms Tech) ” Patched through Sir”
Lieutenant Commander Butter  “ Coming up on drop zone, 5 minutes from drop.”
“Acknowledged” chorused Commander Walrath and Lieutenant Commander John.
Five minutes later:
Dropmaster Andrews “Drop Shuttles away, MI dropping, clear in 120” A short time later followed by “MI clear, no sign of any flak”
Lieutenant Commander Butter  “Thank you Mr Andrews. Sensors, keep a passive scan on local space at all time”
Lieutenant Nicolson (Sensor Tech) “ Acknowledged Sir”

The assault on the alien base was timed to begin 24 hours later giving the assault troops time to secure the operations area and get into their assault positions. The Wellington was to orbit over the alien installation acting as a communications link.

Transcript of Bridge recorder TFS Wellington, 11th October 2068.
Lieutenant Goutier, (Executive Officer) “Sir, Assault will commence in 60 seconds”
Lieutenant Commander Butter  “Very good, carry on”
Lieutenant Goutier, (Executive Officer) ” Assault underway”
Lieutenant Nicolson (Sensor Tech)   ”Sir! Thermal Contacts – two drive signatures strength 750 coming out of cloak right on top of us!”
Lieutenant Breslau (Ewar)  “ Our systems are being hacked!”
Lieutenant Commander Butter “Pilot get us out of here! Max boost for the gate. Sensors, incoming? Comms Signal ground forces; they are on their own! Urgent flash Fleet HQ, alien warships ships decloaking”
Lieutenant Nicolson (Sensor Tech) “ No detectable incoming, no active fire control.”

24 hours later, 12th October 2068, Bridge TFS Wellington.
Transcript of Bridge recorder TFS Wellington

Lieutenant Nicolson (Sensor Tech) “Out of thermal detection range in 15 minutes”
Some 15 minutes later, all was quite as the ship drove for the gate under maximum acceleration.

Two days later, 14th October 2068, Bridge of TFS Wellington.
Transcript of Bridge recorder TFS Wellington.

Lieutenant Yarra (Comms) “Sir! Signal from the ground force, installation taken intact, it was an unoccupied listening post. Sir! Signal from two alien ships. They have surrendered!!!”
Lieutenant Commander Butter  “Pilot, plot a return course to Asteroid #86, Dropmaster prepare to embark ground forces. Comms. Priority flash Fleet HQ - alien ships surrendered.”

The Wellington peacefully orbited Asteroid #86, with the two alien ships, shark-like against the stars on either flank, while drop shuttles made round trips retrieving the assault infantry and MI. The alien ships turned out to be fully equipped 4550 tonne missile frigates (actually DDGs), more than capable of annihilating the Wellington operating on automatic now slaved to the TFS Wellington, no sign of a crew. So ended the first battle of Proxima Centauri.

The Second Battle of Proxima Centauri.

[Spacemaster’s note: I decided to add ruins to Proxima Centauri II to account for the presence of the alien Listening Post and Warships. It had already been surveyed and had substantial mineral reserves but at low accessibility. So did not expect what followed.]

19th November 2068. Force disposition. The TFS Wellington was approaching Proxima Centauri II, 6th MI and 16th Assault Infantry embarked. The Federation Battle Group was stationed on the Proxima side of the Sol-Proxima Jump Gate, less TFS Achilles, which was refitting. The Alien Longsword FFGs had departed for Earth.

Opening Gambit
19th November 2068. TFS Wellington approaching Proxima Centauri II. Transcript of Bridge recorder, TFS Wellington.
Pilot Agnew “Approach vector locked in, drop point in 10 minutes”
Lieutenant Commander Butter “Very good, proceed”
Lieutenant Nicolson (Sensor Tech) “Quite across the EM spectrum, preparing to go active in eight minutes.”
Dropmaster Andrews “Coming up on drop point, systems green, five minutes to drop.”
Lieutenant Yarra (Comms) “Commander Walrath reports all units ready for Drop.”
Dropmaster Andrews “On my mark commence drop. Mark! Drop commenced. Shuttles away, MI launching”
Lieutenant Nicolson (Sensor Tech) “Beginning active scan. Four thermal contacts decloacking on top of us! Four active returns”
Dropmaster Andrews “Drop complete in 45 seconds.
Lieutenant Commander Butter  “Pilot, lay in vector for the Gate, max thrust!!”
Lieutenant Breslau (Ewar)  “ We are being scanned by hostiles, active sensor from the lead vessel”
Dropmaster Andrews “Drop units clear of ship”
Pilot Agnew “Vector laid in”
Lieutenant Commander Butter “Execute! Comms, inform Commander Walrath of the situation. Report contacts to Federation Battle Group Proxima Centauri.”
Lieutenant Yarra (Comms) “Aye sir!”
Lieutenant Nicolson (Sensor Tech)”Four hostile contacts of 4550 tonnes, thermal signatures of approximately 750. No incoming as yet.”

The Wellington burned through space at its full velocity of 2500 k/s leaving its shuttles behind, awaiting the hammer blows that never came. The Federation Battle Group sitting at the Gate began to move towards Proxima II, New Avalon”

24th November 2068. The Battle

Federation Battle Group Proxima Centauri, Senior Office Commodore Archie Berry. Ships in Battle Group: FFGs; Ajax, Dido, Leander, Arethusa. Escorts; Nelson, Rodney, Cunningham.

The Battle Group closed New Avalon, The alien ships showed up on thermal imaging, grouped about the planet. As the Battle Group closed within its active scan envelope of 126m kilometres three of the thermal contacts began to move away from the planet. They stopped about 70m kilometres out.

The battle group should have achieved lock on at 98m kilometres, but hostile ECM was such that they had to continue to close New Avalon to approximately 50m kilometres to get a lock on the hostile orbiting the planet. This also brought them within about 50m kilometres of the three other alien ships. When finally able to target the alien ships they were assigned the reporting IDs of Mirusso Tomo 001, Mirusso Tomo 002, Mirusso Tomo 003 and Bosaka Gubo 001.

The Ajax, Leander, Arethusa and Dido each carried 66 Star Cat Mk I (Size 3, strength 3 warhead) missiles, range 98.2m kilometres and 50 Star Sparrow Mk I (size 1) missiles, range 1.3 m kilometres in their magazines. They each were equipped with six size 3 launchers and five size one launchers. The point defence fire control was designated as final defensive fire and one of the ECCM 1 installations slaved to it. The other ECCM 1 was slaved to the primary fire control. They had Strength 5 armour and 10 alpha shields.

The Escorts Nelson, Rodney and Cunningham were equipped with two triple 10cm near UV laser turrets. One turret was designated area defensive fire and the other final defensive fire. They also had Strength 5 armour but only 9 alpha shields with improved regeneration times.

Commodore Berry took the decision to concentrate on the Bosaka Gubo 001 which had the strongest active sensor reading and was orbiting New Avalon threatening Federation ground units. Ajax, Arethusa, Leander and Dido began launching broadsides of six Star Cat Mk I missiles each every 45 seconds. Eight and a quarter minutes later the launchers coughed their last missile into space. There was then the interminable wait for the missiles to cross the intervening space. The first missile salvo approached untroubled by enemy counter fire. Unfortunately hostile ECM was very effective, only one missile impacted the target, the others missing or being decoyed away. Of the 264 missiles launched 246 found the target, but only about 40 hit, the remaining 18 losing the target lock, when there was an internal explosion and the alien ship broke up after the fourth from last salvo The Federation fleet, having spent its long-range fire began to retire to the jump point as celebrations broke out in the ships of the fleet. The celebrations were, however, short lived as six strength 17 thermal contacts were detected closing on the fleet at an astounding 26700 k/s, from the direction of the three Mirusso Tomo contacts.

The first enemy volley made a beeline straight for the Ajax, aboard the Escorts Nelson, Rodney and Cunningham there was the high pitched whining of laser turrets trying to lock on to the fast moving missiles. The area defence turrets failed to lock-on in time, only the final defensive fire turrets reducing three incoming missiles to so much gas.  The Ajax shuddered as first its shields collapsed under the 13-kiloton impact and then the follow-on missiles scoured the armour. All the FFG interceptor missile launchers failed to lock on.  The second salvo was a repeat of the first, only three missiles being intercepted by laser fire from the escorts, and once again the Ajax was riven by the alien missiles, twice the size, three times as fast and more than four times as powerful as anything the Federation could mount on a ship. This time the missiles burnt through the armour of the Ajax causing internal damage, most significantly to one of the nuclear pulse engines, which fortunately continued to operate. One of the two long range fire controls were reduced to scrap as was the active search sensor. Another couple of salvos like that and the Ajax would break up.

Commodore Berry ordered all laser batteries on the escorts be switched to final defensive fire. Area defensive fire was ineffectual, probably due to insufficient time to acquire the target. The alien “Slaughter” missiles approaching at 26700 k/s were only being intercepted in the last 10,000 kilometres, the turrets only had a tracking speed of 16,000 k/s. The ships awaited the third salvo with trepidation, as they approached the escorts laser turrets made frantic attempts to track them, blue white light burning from the laser emitters, lighting up in the molecular clouds left from previously vaporised missiles and debris from the Ajax. This time all the alien missiles were intercepted, crews breathed a sigh of relief. Subsequent salvos were also successfully dealt with until about the 12th salvo when two missiles broke through to ravage the Cunningham, flattening its shields and scoring the armour, but without burning through. Then again at the 20th salvo another two missiles leaked pasted the defences, this time hammering the Arethusa, but again without internal damage. The enemy salvos continued to arrive like clockwork. Then the 23rd thermal contact was picked up, this time it appeared to be a salvo with only half the number of missiles incoming. This short salvo was successfully destroyed and then all was quite. For ten minutes the fleet continued to withdraw before Commodore Berry ordered all ships to close with the enemy. It was then the hostiles revealed their superior speed, going to 8521 k/s and easily pulling away from the Federation fleet that was only capable of a mere 1950 k/s. The alien ships easily outdistanced the Federation Task Group and was last detected heading towards the asteroid belt. The Federation fleet retired to the jump gate to refuel and re-supply from the fleet auxiliaries Stellar Conveyor and Stellar Causeway, jump cruiser tankers with a limited number of missile reloads on board. The Ajax was detached and sent home for urgent repairs, while the other ships patched their armour as best they could. So concluded the Second Battle of Proxima Centauri.

The Third Battle of Proxima Centauri.

The Prologue
Shortly after the second battle of Proxima Centauri the Geo-survey vessels surveying the asteroid belt found another two alien listening posts, so the TFS Wellington was duly recalled this time embarking the 7th MI and 17th Assault Infantry divisions. On the 23rd January 2069 while enroute to asteroid #86 it picked up the unmistakeable signal of the alien Mirusso Tomo search sensor. Signalling the Proxima Battle Group the Wellington reversed course, but soon lost the enemy. For the next six months the Battle Group scoured the asteroids looking for its elusive foe, occasionally catching a sensor trace only to lose it again.

The duty as Gate guard was taken over by the two Longswords that had surrendered earlier. They were strengthened by the return of Achilles to active service after a refit. Finally Ajax finished her repairs and shortly after the new construction Andromeda, Charybdis and Scylla joined the fleet, Ajax, Achilles and Charybdis joined the Proxima Battle Group while Andromeda and Scylla joined the Proxima Gate guard.

During this time the Wellington was able to carry out successful operations against the alien listening posts without being troubled by the alien threat. After a spell as a picket in the asteroid belt, in early June the Wellington headed once more for New Avalon. On 29th June 2069 the Wellington was approaching New Avalon, as the planet crept into passive sensor range alarms blared, the alien fleet had been found! In orbit of New Avalon! Battle Group Proxima Centuari was duly summoned and arrived on 20th July.

20th July 2069. The Third Battle

Midday on the 20th July 2069 the third and final battle for Proxima Centauri commenced. The Federation Battle Group moved towards New Avalon until a firm targeting lock was established. Then, at 12:24 Standard Time with two FFGs targeting each of the hostile vessels firing commenced, delivering 132 Star Cat Mk I missiles per target. Firing finished at 12:36:10 ST, ten minutes twenty seconds later the first of the return salvos was detected. The Escorts were able to intercept all incoming missiles until the 4th salvo when two missiles avoided all attempt to intercept them and impacted on the Rodney resulting in shields flattened and armour scored. All was then well until the 12th salvo when one leaker picked out the unfortunate Ajax, but this time only causing superficial damage. As the alien missiles arrived so they were intercepted, until the 16th salvo when the Cunningham suffered the same fate as the Ajax. One missile, escaping all efforts to destroy it detonated on the Cunningham’s shields causing superficial damage. Finally, as in the first engagement the 23rd salvo was at half strength and signalled the end of the enemy bombardment. This time Commodore Berry immediately ordered the fleet to close the hostile ships.

At 13:52:25 ST the Star Cat Mk I missiles arrived at their targets. Salvo after salvo either missing entirely or hitting with just one missile. If anything the hit rate was worst than the second battle, with maybe only a twelfth to a ninth of all missiles finding the target. The targets remained in orbit ostensibly intact after the bombardment.

19:45:21 ST the Federation fleet closed to laser range and the Nelson, Rodney and Cunningham opened fire with both their 10cm triple laser turrets, the hostiles were streaming atmosphere by the fourth volley and at 19:46:46 ST it was all over, three new wrecks orbited New Avalon. So ended the third and final battle for Proxima Centauri.

It was never found where the alien ships were able to re-supply from and no organic crew remains were ever detected. It was also never established why in the final battle the three ships did not simply run away as they could have easily outdistanced the Federation fleet. It was established that the Mirusso Tomo class was the same as the two Longswords captured in the first battle, even down to using the same missiles and shared the same origin. Why did the second group not surrender? Was it all down to an AI gone bad?

Board of Inquiry into Ship Performance in the Proxima Centauri Campaign.

The recommendations of the board were that:

1) The Dido FFG class magazines are too small to engage a technically superior ship. The point defence installation does not work! Shields are inadequate to protect against technically superior missiles or even planet based  missiles. They are also too slow and endurance is very limited.

2) Therefore the Dido class should land their size-1 missile launchers, depending on their escorts for point defence. The new ceramic armour should be used and with the mass saved increase the magazine capacity by 98, increase the shields by 50% using the newly developed Beta shields and increase fuel tankage to match that of the Nelson class Escorts.  This will mean scrapping the Mk II design in favour of the much improved Mk III.

3) The Nelson class escorts are generally a successful class, being able to intercept a technically superior missile 91% of the time and engage enemy vessels. They have a good endurance but are slow, matched to the Dido MK I.

4) The Nelson class should also utilise the new armour, which will allow a 50+% increase in shields and the mounting of two twin 12cm Near UV laser turrets in place of the current 10cm turrets. With the refit of an improved fire control this will allow an increase in range from 72,000 kilometres to 120,000 kilometres combined with a heavier punch.

5) Further all ships should be re-engined with the recently developed Ion engine with one more unit being added to bring their velocity above 3000 k/s. These designs will enable them to continue to operate with the current Jump Cruiser design, which has a Portal limit of 7500 tonnes. 

6) The hit rate of the Star Cat Mk I was deplorable less than one in six hit the target. Every effort must be made to bring into service an improved Mk II as soon as possible to maintain the fleet as an effective fighting force and before any more extra solar excursions are made.

7) In the long term a design should be sought combining the long-range firepower of the Dido with at least one 12cm triple laser turret. However the design must not exceed the 10,000 limit of the proposed next generation Jump Cruisers.
« Last Edit: October 04, 2016, 02:31:44 AM by IanD »


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