Author Topic: Battles of the Empires Campaign  (Read 2430 times)

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Offline procyon

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Re: Battles of the Empires Campaign
« Reply #15 on: March 25, 2011, 12:44:53 AM »
Arrows in the Dark
(Part 10 in the Sunset Saga)

New Empires Campaign - month 42

Following her deployment from the WP to Ember, Vice Admiral Hermione Shepherd broke up her ships into two Task Groups, based more on their ability to cross the distance involved than on any war time capability.  The New Euro and Baltian Escort Carriers, with their heavy but rugged engines, were placed in TG 1, while the balance of the force was placed into TG 2.  Rear Admiral Levianna's Drakus ships were designated TG 3.  Each was given a dedicated sensor vessel to assist in the search for the surviving AI ships and assigned sectors to search.  Vice Admiral Shepherd retained the New Euro WP Explorer Rembrandt with it advanced sensor array and sensor drones.
The AI ships had approached the location of the WP to the Wolff home system from farther out system.  Vice Admiral Shepherd suspected that the AI WP would lie somewhere on the course plotted by Vice Admiral Embressa prior to her death, but had a hunch that they would not return by that route.  She had studied the history of the conflicts not only within Sunset, but of the battles fought a century before.  Armed with this knowledge, she defied her lower commanders, changed the course of Levianna's ships, and began her search in nearly the opposite direction from the WP that the AI ships were expected to be found on.
Three days after leaving the WP to Ember, the Rembrandt detected an unknown contact. As Shepherd had suspected, the AI had not fled for the safety of an unknown WP, but had run for the nearest area they would be able to hide from the allied sensors - the small asteroid field where so many battles had already been fought.  The AI were still nearly 24 light minutes out from reaching the AB,  while TG 2 was twice that distance and TG 3 twelve light minutes even farther out.  But suspecting such a move, Shepherd had placed TG 1 on a course to skirt the edge of the AB and try to block any AI escape into the debris fields.  But with only four squadrons of gunboats and two Baltian assault shuttle squadrons plus a pair of Cryocian destroyers there was little TG 1 could hope to do to stop the heavy AI ships.
Vice Admiral Shepherd ordered the slower Rembrandt to follow at its best speed and set the Destruction and Lady Anne to pursue the AI group.  With all of the ships in the group designed to run down commerce raiders, they enjoyed a large advantage in speed over the AI, but would still need over 19 hours to reach the AB, 3 hours behind the AI group.  With the CVL Destruction's interceptors designed only for high speed and short range interdiction, there was only one way she would be able to assist TG 1.
Against her CAG's protest, Shepherd ordered the Destruction's squadrons stripped of external weapons and fitted for external fuel and oxygen tanks.  Launched at maximum range, they would be able to intercept the AI ships less than a light minute before they reached the relative safety of the debris fields.  They would join the squadrons of TG 1, the Cryocian destroyers, and do what they could to cripple the AI group.
With the AI ships less than 20 light seconds from the AB, the interceptors jettisoned their external pods.  Joining formation with the gunboats and shuttles of TG 1, they prepared to face the squadrons of AI gunboats and heavy defenses of the AI warships.
This launch from the Destruction would be the first combat the New Euro Arrow Class interceptors would see.


Baltian Forces

Ast Sqn 2 (Average)
ast 5/3DP   ast 6/3DP   ast 7/3DP   ast 8/3DP

Ast Sqn 3 (Average)
ast 9/3DP   ast 10/3DP   ast 11/3DP   ast 12/3DP


Cryocian Forces

Destroyers Blazing Arrow (Crack) , Long Lance (Crack)
4XOa (PtcaMx1)               DDb / 35HS
[4] (S1) x2 (A1)x5 Za Qa Ht (Jb) (Jb) (Jb) (Jb) Mgs Qb (Jb) Ptca Dzb Yb (Jb) Ptca [6] / gig
(Ptca x2 / Dzb x1) PtcaM x26

New Euro Forces

GBa Sqn 38 (Ultra) / 30DP   GBa Sqn 40 (Crack) / 30DP

GBa Sqn 41 (Elite) / 30DP   GBa Sqn 42 (Elite) / 30DP

FQa Sqn 6 (Crack) / 20DP   FQa Sqn 7 (Crack) / 20DP

FQa Sqn 8 (Crack) / 20DP   FQa Sqn 9 (Crack) / 20DP

FQa Sqn 7 (Crack) / 20DP


AI Forces

DN / CVA 04 (Average)
18 XOa (RcaM x5, GBa x1)         (AM1)   DN / 130HS
[3] (S1) x24 (A1)x24 Za Qa Qb (Ia Ia Ia Ia) Qv Qb Qb Qb Mg Dzb Qb (Ia Ia Ia Ia) Bga Bga Bga Bga BLa H Qv (M1) Rca Rca Rca Qb Rca Rca Yca ?a (Ia Ia Ia Ia) [3] / gig, GBa x4 +1 (ast internal weapon), 40 CP GB crew in Qv (Average)
(Rca x5/ Dzb x1/ ?a) RcaM x80

BB 01 (Average) , 04 (Average)
14 XOa (RcaM x7)            (AM1)   BB / 100HS
[3] (S1) x14 (A1)x16 Za Qb Qb (Ia Ia Ia) Dzb Qb (M1) Rb Rb Rca Dzb Rca Rb Rb Mg (Ia Ia Ia) Dzb Rb Rb Rca Dzb Rca Rb Rb Yb Qb H ?a Qb (Ia Ia Ia) [3] / gig
(Rca x4 / Rb x8 / Dzb x4/ ?a) RcaM x70, RbM x80

DD 14 (Average)
0 XOa                   (AM1)   DDb / 35HS
[2] (S1) x8 x x x x x x x x Za Ht Qa (Ib) (Ib) Rca (Ib) Db Rb (Ib) Yb Rb ?a Qb (Ib) [5] / gig
(Rca x1 / Rb x2 / Db x1/ ?a) RcaM x10, RbM x12

DDE 07 (Average)
0 XOa                   (AM1)   DDb / 35HS
[2] (S1) x5 x x x x x Za Hs Qa (Ib) (Ib) x x Db Db x Yb Db Db Db ?a Qb (Ib) (Ib) [5] / gig
(Db x5/ ?a)

DDE 05/b (Average)
0 XOa                   (AM1)   DDb / 35HS
[2] (S1) x5 x x x x Za x x Qa x (Ib) (Ib) x x Db Rca Yb Db Db Db ?a Qb (Ib) (Ib) [5] / gig
(Rca x1 / Db x4/ ?a) RcaM x10


DDE 06/b (Average) , 11/b (Average)
5XOa (RcaM x2/RbM x1)         (AM1)   DDb / 35HS
[2] (S1) x5 (A1)x4 Za Hs Mgs Qa (Ib) (Ib) (Ib) Db Db Db Rca Yb Db Db Db ?a Qb (Ib) (Ib) [5] / gig
(Rca x1 / Db x6/ ?a) RcaM x20


Setup
Deep space map, with all hexes on the row beyond 30tH on radian 1 considered AB.

AI DN starts at 30tH from center of map on radian 7, facing radian 1.
All other AI ships start within 3tH of AI DN.
Two AI gunboat squadrons are launched and within 5tH of AI DN. One will be from XO racks.
AI Bga hold 5 loads of K for external ordinance, and 5 loads of R for external ordinance.
AI datalinks are DN 04/DDE 06b, BB01/BB04.  Others at AI players option.

Cryocian destroyers start at 30tH from center on radian 11 with any facing.
FQa Sqn6 starts at 30tH from center on radian 9 with any facing.
All other allied sqns start within 5tH of FQa Sqn6.  None may start within 30 tH of AI DN.
GBa carry R for external ordinance.
FQa have no external ordinance.

All ships and sqn start at battle stations.


Aftermath.
As the allied forces closed on the AI ships, the AI gunboats launched and formed up around the AI ships.  The allied squadrons closed on their targets with the interceptors in the lead.  The AI ships and sqns concentrated on the allied gunboats in an attempt to blunt the inevitable attacks on the ships, while the allied fighters tore into the AI sqns.  The Cryocian destroyers closed into range as the gunboats prepared to salvo, but were plagued with poor targeting and failed to lock on many of their torpedoes.  After only moments one of the AI destroyers had been torn apart and another crippled, two of the AI sqns were destroyed while the last three found refuge in the carrier's bays while they rearmed.
The allies also suffered losses though as all of the gunboat squadrons were damaged, while one interceptor group was destroyed and another returned short several of its fighters.  The Baltian shuttle crews shot down several of the AI gunboats, but lost 5 of their 8 craft in the process.  The Cryocian Blazing Arrow was lost to the return fire from the Dragon and the Tyrant as the destroyers tried to disengage.
The AI managed to slip into the asteroid belt, but Vice Admiral Hermione Shepherd was not finished.  As the squadrons were landed and reorganized, many were refitted with recon sensor packages and prepared for another launch.  She had no intention of allowing the AI ships to escape that easily.  

Notes.
The allied player isn't going to win this one without taking serious losses.  You could probably press in and tear up the entire group, but the allied squadrons would get decimated.  My wife decided Shepherd would not know that the Honaw had been defeated and the supply lines opened yet, so her ability to replace/repair squadrons was VERY limited.  My wife's goal was to cripple/destroy as many AI GB's as possible, and try to tear up the destroyer escorts - without losing to much.  She considered the big ships to tough to crack without more support.  Sqns would need to be preserved to continue the defense of Ember until the AI's entry WP could be found.

This battle also found her plagued by very poor rolls.  She only managed to land two Ptca hit in three launches, with both of those getting past the point defense.  Her sqn attacks seldom rolled higher than a 3 or 4, and it took all of the GB external ordinance to destroy just a single AI DD.  Her fighters did manage to slip into the blindspots of the big ships due to a big oversight of mine, but her poor rolls forced her to commit all of her shots on the AI smcft to get just a pair of the AI GBa destroyed.  In the end she had to be satisfied with a lack luster performance and what she felt were excessive losses to just take out one DD, damage a crippled DD a little more, and cost the AI as many sqns as she had lost.
She really wanted to finish of the AI heavies, but wasn't sure if the Lady Anne Group (CL&DDx2) with a Drakus CL plus five DD's would be able to face them down.  Her squadrons were finding it difficult to push past the AI DDEs/GBs and she wasn't sure they would be much help when she brought the AI group to bay.  She knew in the AB that it would have to happen at close quarters and the AI BB's broadsides would be devastating.
But occasionally after an hour or two of fretting over the possible losses, she steels herself to it and digs in her heels.  
This was definitely one of those times.

« Last Edit: April 23, 2011, 03:13:27 AM by procyon »
... and I will show you fear in a handful of dust ...
 

Offline procyon

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Re: Battles of the Empires Campaign
« Reply #16 on: April 23, 2011, 03:27:57 AM »
The Monster Slayers
(Part 11 in the Sunset Saga)

New Empires Campaign - month 42

Following the long range fighter and gunboat strike against the AI Battle Group the Pan Euro squadrons were reorganized.  One of the Anti-Shipping squadrons was reduced to a single craft as its remaining ships were parcelled out to bring the other groups to full strength.  The Arrows underwent a similar reorganization.
Vice Admiral Hermione Shepherd waited for the three Task Groups to assemble before pursuing the AI ships into the asteroid field.   All of the Anti-Shipping Squadrons were outfitted with sensor packages and escorted by the Arrows and Baltian assault shuttles.  Fanning out across the asteroid field the groups began to search for the AI ships.  It only took nine hours for the first group to make contact.
Sixteen hours later the assembled allied ships moved to engage the AI ships.


Baltian Forces

Escort Carrier Red Oak (Average)
                  CTfb / 19HS
[2] S1 S1 A1 H (Bsb) (Bsb) Db (icb Icb) Qb (Bsb) (Bsb) (Icb) [5] / gig x1, ast x3

Ast Sqn 3 (Average)
ast 7/3DP   ast 10/3DP   ast 12/3DP


Drakus Forces
Rear Admiral Levianna (LG/Average)

Light Cruiser Varkn (Average)
7XOb (EDMa x1/RbM x3)         CL / 45HS
[3] (S) x4 (A) x4 Zb Hs Mgs Qa (Ia) (Ia Ia) Qa (Ia) Rb Rb Rb Da Rb Rb Rb Rb Da Qa Yb (Ia Ia) [4] / gig
(Rb x7/ Da x2) RbM x94

Destroyers Devlyren (Green) ,  Dersyk (Average) , Drasala (Average) ,
   Daveska (Green) , Dravik (Green)
5XOa (RbM x5)               DD / 30HS
[3] (S) x3 (A)x3 Zb Hs Mgs Qa Rb Rb (Ia) (Ia) (Ia) Rb Rb Yb Da Qa (Ia) (Ia) [5] / gig
(Rb x4 / Da x1) RbM x64


New Euro Forces
Vice Admiral Hermione Shepherd (LG+3/Ultra)

CVL Destruction (Crack)
9 XOb (FQa x1/ReM-AFM x1)         (AM1)   CLfe / 57HS
[2] (S1) x9 (A2)x6 Zb Hs Qb Qb (ie Ie) (Ie) (Ie Ie) Ye Qv Dca (Ie) (Bfa) (Bfa) (Bfa) (Bfa) (BLa) Qb ?a (Ie Ie) [5] / gig, FQax4 +1 (La internal weapon), 20 CP FQ crew in Qv (Crack)
(Dca x1/ ?a)
FQa Sqn 6 (Crack) / 11DP   FQa Sqn 7 (Crack) / 20DP
FQa Sqn 8 (Crack) / 20DP   FQa Sqn 9 (Crack) / 17DP


DDE Thistle (Average) , Briar Rose (Average)
5XOa (EDMa x1/ReM x1)         (AM1)   DDb / 35HS
[2] (S1) x6 (A2)x12 Zb Hs Mgs Qa Re (Ib) (Ib) (Ib) Dcza Dcza Ye ?a Qb (Ib) (Ib) [5] / gig
(Re x1 / Dcza x2/ ?a) ReM/ECM1 x20 , ReM-AFM x24

Light Cruiser Lady Anne (Elite)
8XOb (EDMa x1/RcaM/ECM1 x2)      (AM1)   CLbf / 51HS
[2] (S1) x9 (A1)x9 Zb H Qa Rca (ib Ib) (Ib) (M1) (Ib Ib) Qb Mgs Ye Db Re Re Re Dca Qb ?a (Ib Ib) [5] / gig
(Rca x1/ Re x3/ Db x1/ Dca x1/ ?a) RcaM-ECM1 x13, RcaM-AFM x2, Rca-LW/ECM1 x1
ReM-ECM1 x60, ReM-AFM x12

Destroyers Queen Mary (Ultra) , Queen Mary II (Elite)
5XOa (RcaM/ECM1 x1/ReM-AFM x3)   (AM1)   DDb / 35HS
[2] (S1) x6 (A1)x6 Zb Hs Mgs Qa Rca (Ib) (Ib) (Ib) Re Re Ye Db ?a Qb (Ib) [5] / gig
(Rb x4/ Db x1/ ?a) RcaM-ECM1 x13, Rca-AFM x2, Rca-LW/ECM1 x1
ReM-ECM1 x40, Re-AFM x12

River Class Escort Carrier Tigris (Crack) , Shannon (Crack)
                  FT4b / 35HS
[2] S1 S1 A1 H (Icb) (Icb) (Icb) (Bga) (Bga) (BLa) Yb Dca Qa (Icb) [4] / gig , GBa x2(La internal weapon)
GBa Sqn 38 (Ultra) / 27DP, GBa Sqn 40 / 30DP(Elite)
GBa Sqn 41 (Elite) / 3DP, GBa Sqn 42 / 30DP(Crack)


AI Forces

DN / CVA 04 (Average)
18 XOa (RcaM x9)         (AM1)   DN / 130HS
[3] (S1) x24 (A1)x24 Za Qa Qb (Ia Ia Ia Ia) Qv Qb Qb Qb Mg Dzb Qb (Ia Ia Ia Ia) Bga Bga Bga Bga BLa H Qv (M1) Rca Rca Rca Qb Rca Rca Yca ?a (Ia Ia Ia Ia) [3] / gig, GBa x3 (ast internal weapon)  
(Rca x5/ Dzb x1/ ?a) RcaM x46

BB 01 (Average) , 04 (Average)
14 XOa (RcaM x7)            (AM1)   BB / 100HS
[3] (S1) x14 (A1)x16 Za Qb Qb (Ia Ia Ia) Dzb Qb (M1) Rb Rb Rca Dzb Rca Rb Rb Mg (Ia Ia Ia) Dzb Rb Rb Rca Dzb Rca Rb Rb Yb Qb H ?a Qb (Ia Ia Ia) [3] / gig
(Rca x4 / Rb x8 / Dzb x4/ ?a) RcaM x52, RbM x48

DDE 07 (Average)
0 XOa                   (AM1)   DDb / 35HS
[2] (S1) x5 x x x x x Za Hs Qa (Ib) (Ib) x x Db Db x Yb Db Db Db ?a Qb (Ib) (Ib) [4] / gig
(Db x5/ ?a)

DDE 05/b (Average)
0 XOa                   (AM1)   DDb / 35HS
[2] (S1) x5 x x x x Za x x x x x x x x x Rca Yb Db Db Db ?a Qb (Ib) (Ib) [2] / gig
(Rca x1 / Db x4/ ?a) RcaM x6


DDE 06/b (Average) , 11/b (Average)
5XOa (RcaM x2/RbM x1)         (AM1)   DDb / 35HS
[2] (S1) x5 (A1)x4 Za Hs Mgs Qa (Ib) (Ib) (Ib) Db Db Db Rca Yb Db Db Db ?a Qb (Ib) (Ib) [5] / gig
(Rca x1 / Db x6/ ?a) RcaM x18


Setup
Asteroid Belt.

AI DN starts atcenter of map facing radian 1.
All other AI ships start within 3tH of AI DN.
Both AI gunboat squadrons are launched and within 5tH of AI DN.
AI Bga hold 5 loads of K for external ordinance, and 4 loads of R for external ordinance.
AI datalinks are DN 04/DDE 06b, BB01/BB04.  Others at AI players option.

CVL Destruction starts at 60tH from center of map on radian 1.
All other allied ships and sqns start within 10tH of CVL.
All ships and sqns start at battle stations.

Optional start would use loadout and damage from previous engagement.


Aftermath.
Vice Admiral Shepherd tested the AI defenses with an unsupported strike by the Arrows, 3 of the Anti-Shipping Sqns, and Baltian shuttles.  The attack destroyed one AI sqn and the crippled destroyers, but concentrated fire from the defenders tore through the allied small craft.  As the squadrons reloaded their external hardpoints, the commanders looked at the losses they had sustained in the two unsupported attacks on the AI ships.  With no illusions that continued unsupported attacks would only lose her the rest of her valuable gunboats and fighters, Hermione committed the Lady Anne Group and Drakus warships to support the follow on attack.  As the squadrons launched and settled into their attack formations the warships closed with the AI capital ships.
The next five minutes sent chunks of rock and splinters of metal and composite careening through the asteroid belt as space was lit by nulcear fires. AI ships and gunboats turned and shifted trying to keep weapon locks on the allied squadrons while trading death with the allied cruisers and destroyers.  The Lady Anne, Queen Mary, and Varkyn perished to the Dragon and Tyrant's broadsides.  The Dravik and Queen Mary 2 both were left streaming air into the void with many systems off line or destroyed.
But in the end the pounding the allied ships returned as they died gave the squadrons the chance they needed, and one after another the AI ships fell.  First were the point defense destroyers of the AI followed by the Kraken class carrier.  Then the Tyrant fell.  In the end the Dragon was torn apart by the lasers of the Arrows that incessantly harried the large ship that had cost the allies so much.
The last of the AI assault fleet had been destroyed, but it had battered the defenses of the Wolff Home System and cost the allies many precious ships and commanders.  Two of the Drakus' finest admirals had perished.  Most dearly felt for the New Euro was the loss of the Lady Anne and Queen Mary.  They were among the oldest serving ships in the fleet with records dating back to the first wars humanity had fought in space.  Only three ships in service held longer records.  Eldest was the Red October, now little more than a tourist attraction parked in orbit of the Imperial Captial.  The others were the sisters of the Lady Anne and Queen Mary, and were the Lady Di and Queen Elizabeth.  And even as the crews mourned the loss of the Lady Anne and QM, their sisters were facing the AI in a distant system known as Hera.


Notes.
This battle tried my wife's nerves several times as she toyed with the idea of breaking off.  In the end she gritted her teeth and committed her dear Lady Anne and QM to the battle, only to watch them perish.  With the loss of two of her oldest ships, she pressed her attacks relentlessly.  In the end she had destroyed the AI group.  She vowed that the Lady Anne would be rebuilt, and that the AI would not escape total destruction as they had previously in the Empires Campaign.

The Lady Di and Lady Anne were the first light cruisers my wife had ever designed and built.  They had been with her since the first turns of the Empires Campaign and had fought in nearly every war the Euro had engaged in.  They had their own counters we had hand drawn out for them.  The battle board sat for days after the battle until she could get the nerve to put away the counters.
« Last Edit: April 23, 2011, 06:41:25 AM by procyon »
... and I will show you fear in a handful of dust ...
 

 

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