Author Topic: A bug's life (and death), AKA : my first contact with the star swarm...  (Read 2859 times)

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Offline Cocyte

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Well... I'm playing aurora for quite some time now, just started a new game on 6.20.
I actually never had the... erm... luck? yeah, let's say luck... of encountering any of everyone's favorite space beetles : the star swarm.

As I located some of those two system away from Sol, and having read some horror stories from other players, I decided to act, and I'm starting to think I've overdone it... Well, there's no such kill as an overkill, there's only "open fire" and "time to reload"...

The story starts in 2068. almost 40 years after the first discovery of trans newtonian elements, Terran Federation offensive military fleet is composed of only 4 4000 tons beam frigates designed a couple of years earlier for dealing with a single ridiculous precursor ship (the quad 12cm laser turret was most effective for turning their useless missiles to a rapidly-expanding cloud of overheated debris. Actually, only two were needed, and only because the volleys were too large for a single turret)
Due to some serious tanker issues (no jump-capable model yet... shame on me.), operations are mostly limited to the closest systems.

One of the Gravsurvey ship on solo operation in Ross 47 had the bad surprise of finding suddenly twenty very-very-typical 800t meson-ships on top of it... a Judas/LRS scout sent there for investigation following the lack of report of the gravsurvey ship was also ambushed, but its sister ship managed to stay away and, thanks to its standoff sensor drones, identify the main base of operation of our happy tree meson friends.

* Ross 47 IV gas giant, moon 9 :
"Eilat"-class : 60000t ship. one spotted. High power shields detected as well...
"Geoula"-class : 5650t ship. 5 spotted.
"Romat"-class : 800t ship. 20 spotted.

Note : sensor buoy was destroyed 10 seconds after its first report.

Immediately, Sol industries switched to war mode. The shipyard workers were working overtime while 75% of construction factories pre-built ship components, reducing dramatically the time needed for assembling brand new ships. In less than one year, the military fleet was expanded from the old "quatuor in UV minor" to the destructive equivalent of a philarmonic orchestra.

In late december 2069, the task force 002 leave earth orbit for the sol-sirius jumpgate...  

* Task force 002 / Strike group :

- 1 "Judas/FS" class Fleet Scout frigate.
Code: [Select]
Judas/FS class Fleet Scout 4000 tons     97 Crew     978.125 BP      TCS 80  TH 131.25  EM 750
4687 km/s     Armour 4-22     Shields 25-300     Sensors 32/1/0/0     Damage Control 2     PPV 0
Annual Failure Rate: 7%    IFR: 0.1%    Maintenance Capacity 229 MSP
Spare Berths 3    

Engine MSes3 (5/1.25/0.6 TR.35) (5)    Power 75    Fuel Use 99.57%    Armour 0    Exp 12%
Fuel Capacity 450,000 Litres    Range 20.3 billion km   (50 days at full power)
Delta R300/360 Shields (10)   Total Fuel Cost  3,600 Litres per day

STH-4 32 (1)     Sensitivity 32     Detect Signature 1000: 32m km
ASR/AS 16-8-10 (57m) (1)     GPS 3200     Range 57.2m km     Resolution 20
ASR/PD 16-8-8 (10m/1.1m) (1)     GPS 128     Range 10.2m km     Resolution 1

This design is classed as a military vessel for maintenance purposes

This is the main sensor array for the fleet.
Its resolution 20 scanner was designed with the range of the Pluton missiles in mind while the resolution 1 scanner will provide ample warning on any kind of threats, allowing medium range strikes by the protectors.
As this ship is a vital tactical asset in most operations, it was designed as being heavily armored and a teeny bit faster than the rest of the warships in order to being able to split and run out of range of eventual threats.
Mission purpose : Tactical awareness

- 12 "Protector" class Area Defence Frigates
Code: [Select]
Protector class Area Defence Frigate 4000 tons     105 Crew     721.8 BP      TCS 80  TH 360  EM 300
4500 km/s     Armour 3-22     Shields 10-300     Sensors 1/1/0/0     Damage Control 1     PPV 12
Annual Failure Rate: 11%    IFR: 0.2%    Maintenance Capacity 113 MSP
Magazine 252   Spare Berths 3    

Engine MS3 (5/1.5/0.6) (4)    Power 90    Fuel Use 157.07%    Armour 0    Exp 15%
Fuel Capacity 400,000 Litres    Range 11.5 billion km   (29 days at full power)
Delta R300/360 Shields (4)   Total Fuel Cost  1,440 Litres per day

MLS-1.3 (12)    Missile Size 1    Rate of Fire 10
MFC/PD 16-8-2.5 (9.6m/1m) (3)     Range 9.6m km    Resolution 1
AMM-1 "Mosquito" (228)  Speed: 24,000 km/s   End: 5m    Range: 7.3m km   WH: 1    Size: 1    TH: 192 / 115 / 57

ASR/PD 16-8-2 (2.5m/0.28m) (1)     GPS 32     Range 2.6m km     Resolution 1

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

This design is classed as a military vessel for maintenance purposes
Those missile defense frigates are designed as being able to track and destroy up to three different targets at once.
They also includes a backup active scanner, but with a puny range compared to the ASR/PD 16-8-8 of the Judas/FS.
Mission purpose : Flyswatters main damage dealers for those very quick 800t gunboats.

- 12 "Thor" class Beam Defence Frigates.
Code: [Select]
Thor class Beam Defence Frigate 4000 tons     113 Crew     756 BP      TCS 80  TH 360  EM 600
4500 km/s     Armour 3-22     Shields 20-300     Sensors 1/1/0/0     Damage Control 2     PPV 19.84
Annual Failure Rate: 5%    IFR: 0.1%    Maintenance Capacity 236 MSP
Spare Berths 4    

Engine MS3 (5/1.5/0.6) (4)    Power 90    Fuel Use 157.07%    Armour 0    Exp 15%
Fuel Capacity 430,000 Litres    Range 12.3 billion km   (31 days at full power)
Delta R300/360 Shields (8)   Total Fuel Cost  2,880 Litres per day

4x12cm NUV Laser Turret 120k/5/8kTrk  (1x4)    Range 120,000km     TS: 8000 km/s     Power 16-16     RM 3    ROF 5        4 4 4 3 2 2 1 1 1 1
BFC/AS 64k/5k (1)    Max Range: 128,000 km   TS: 5000 km/s     92 84 77 69 61 53 45 37 30 22
BFC/PD 16k/8k (1)    Max Range: 32,000 km   TS: 8000 km/s     69 37 6 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Reactor v3.4.0 (1)     Total Power Output 18     Armour 0    Exp 5%

ASR/PD 16-8-2 (2.5m/0.28m) (1)     GPS 32     Range 2.6m km     Resolution 1

This design is classed as a military vessel for maintenance purposes
Boasting a single quad-12cm laser turret each, the old but reliable Thors had no trouble fending off those 10km/s precursor missiles, and just shruging off the occasional size-6 warhead thanks to their shields. The shield and armor will be useless in this case, but the laser turret may be quite effective...
Mission purpose : Last defensive line against the gunboats and finishing off the badly damaged ones. If things goes well, they will also serve to reduce the heavily shielded mothership to a blob of charred flesh - I wonder if starswarm meat is edible...

- 2 GB-1/S "Occulus" class scout boats
Code: [Select]
GB-1/S "Occulus" class Scout/Courier 1000 tons     31 Crew     303 BP      TCS 20  TH 42  EM 0
6000 km/s     Armour 1-8     Shields 0-0     Sensors 1/1/0/0     Damage Control 1     PPV 0
Annual Failure Rate: 0%    IFR: 0%    Maintenance Capacity 189 MSP
Spare Berths 1    

Engine MSbs3 (5/2/0.6) (1)    Power 120    Fuel Use 322.44%    Armour 0    Exp 20%
Fuel Capacity 210,000 Litres    Range 11.7 billion km   (22 days at full power)

ASR/AS 16-8-8 (45m) (1)     GPS 2560     Range 45.8m km     Resolution 20

This design is classed as a military vessel for maintenance purposes
The GB-1/M does not boast a backup sensor like the frigates. The doctrine for use of those missile boats was to use the Occulus to actively scan the enemy ships.
Due to the presence of the Judas/FS, they are actually supposed to be useless for this operation - as the GB-1/Ms should fire a single volley at max range.
Mission purpose : sightseeing...

- 30 GB-1/M "Pounder" class missile boats.
Code: [Select]
GB-1/M "Pounder" class Missile Boat 1000 tons     25 Crew     254 BP      TCS 20  TH 42  EM 0
6000 km/s     Armour 1-8     Shields 0-0     Sensors 1/1/0/0     Damage Control 1     PPV 4
Annual Failure Rate: 1%    IFR: 0%    Maintenance Capacity 79 MSP
Magazine 16   Spare Berths 3    

Engine MSbs3 (5/2/0.6) (1)    Power 120    Fuel Use 322.44%    Armour 0    Exp 20%
Fuel Capacity 200,000 Litres    Range 11.2 billion km   (21 days at full power)

MLSr-4.3 (4)    Missile Size 4    Rate of Fire 4000
MFC/AS 16-8-4 (68m) (1)     Range 68.7m km    Resolution 20
ASM-1a "Pluton-A" (2)  Speed: 27,600 km/s   End: 34.4m    Range: 57m km   WH: 4    Size: 4    TH: 156/93/46
ASM-1t "Pluton-T" (2)  Speed: 27,600 km/s   End: 34.4m    Range: 57m km   WH: 4    Size: 4    TH: 156/93/46

This design is classed as a military vessel for maintenance purposes
Armed with reduced size size 4 missile launchers, those light raider ships can hurl a single salvo of 120 ASM-1 "Pluton" missiles toward a target fleet. Quantity is a quality by itself...
The internal sensors of the two variants of pluton missiles (active and thermal) are supposed to allow retargetting in case of overkill on a single target.
However, fleet command considered the pounder/pluton couple as "sub optimal" for the task :
- Their missile fire control have a too large resolution (20) to cope with the gunships at max range. Should not be that big of an issue.
- The active sensors of the Pluton-A missiles unfortunately boast an even bigger resolution, and are not expected to be of any use for retargetting
- The thermal sensors of the Pluton-T missiles will also be unlikely to track the gunboats. They might be able to finish off a few badly damaged ones however.
Despite those issues, fleet command ordered them to follow the fleet in order to provide at least an alpha strike on the gunboats, as the unusually agile Pluton missile have a 47% chance of interception. And those small ships are also cheap and quick to replace...

Mission purpose : Alpha strike on the ennemy gunships.
Unstated mission purpose : Decoys in case things goes VERY wrong. I wonder why this purpose was omited during the briefings...

* Support ships (Will lurk at the jump point)

-1 "Judas/LRS mod B" class Long Range Scout frigate.
Code: [Select]
Judas/LRS-B class Scout Frigate 4000 tons     90 Crew     707.125 BP      TCS 80  TH 131.25  EM 0
4687 km/s    JR 3-50     Armour 4-22     Shields 0-0     Sensors 64/8/0/0     Damage Control 1     PPV 4
Annual Failure Rate: 0%    IFR: 0%    Maintenance Capacity 110 MSP
Magazine 16   Spare Berths 2    

JD-M/F-6 (3/50/14)     Max Ship Size 4200 tons    Distance 50k km     Squadron Size 3
Engine MSes3 (5/1.25/0.6 TR.35) (5)    Power 75    Fuel Use 99.57%    Armour 0    Exp 12%
Fuel Capacity 700,000 Litres    Range 31.6 billion km   (78 days at full power)

MLSr-4.3 (4)    Missile Size 4    Rate of Fire 4000
MFC/BASIC (1)     Range 660k km    Resolution 20
LESD-2 "Peek" (4)  Speed: 2,900 km/s   End: 82.5d    Range: 20681.5m km   WH: 0    Size: 4    TH: 9 / 5 / 2

STH-8 64 (1)     Sensitivity 64     Detect Signature 1000: 64m km
SEM-C 8 (1)     Sensitivity 8     Detect Strength 1000: 8m km

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

This design is classed as a military vessel for maintenance purposes
A variant of the Judas/FS, buildable in the same yard.
The active sensors and shields are replaced by a large thermal sensor, a jumpdrive, additional fuel tanks and four reduced size 4 launchers fitted with recon missiles/buoys, allowing this variant standalone operation in potentially hostile systems.
The mod A was using a larger lower-tech jump drive, allowing only the "basic" size-4 thermal sensor to be fitted. This proved inadequate, as it detected the active sensor of the Spawn mothership before its thermal signature, 50m km from its position...

- 1 MilJump 8k
Code: [Select]
MilJump 8k class Jump Tender 8000 tons     118 Crew     522 BP      TCS 160  TH 600  EM 0
3750 km/s    JR 3-50     Armour 3-35     Shields 0-0     Sensors 8/8/0/0     Damage Control 1     PPV 0
Maintenance Capacity 41 MSP
Spare Berths 4    

JD-M/D-6 (3/50/27)     Max Ship Size 8100 tons    Distance 50k km     Squadron Size 3
Engine CL3b (50/0.5/0.6) (2)    Power 300    Fuel Use 5.3%    Armour 0    Exp 5%
Fuel Capacity 700,000 Litres    Range 297.2 billion km   (917 days at full power)

STH-C 8 (1)     Sensitivity 8     Detect Signature 1000: 8m km
SEM-C 8 (1)     Sensitivity 8     Detect Strength 1000: 8m km

This ship is classed as a commercial vessel for maintenance purposes
A simple military jump tender, destroyer sized (8000 tons). Commercial design for convenience. Also includes some extra fuel tanks, but barely enough for that many fuel-hungry ships.

Offline Cocyte

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14th of january 2070.
The task force arrive at last in the Ross 47 system. Task force commander Christopher Payne notes that, despite refuelling at the sol-sirius gate, only 60% of the fuel is remaining.
The always delayed retooling of the Serguei Korolev Commercial Yard for building the forever promised "Zoroaster" Jump Tug/Tankers feels painful, and may feel even more painful if the task force runs out of fuel during the return trip.
Commander Payne decide to petition once more for the building of smaller 8000t tankers compatible with the destroyer-sized jump tenders.

The Judas/LRS launch a single LESD-2 (Long Endurance Sensor Drone) toward the last known position of the ennemy fleet : the ninth moon of the supergiant Ross 47 IV.
The main fleet starts to advance toward the gas giant, at a reduced 3000 km/s speed. Not only for reducing the thermal signature of the fleet and preventing an early interception but also (and mainly) for... not overtaking the painfully slow LESD.
Those drones boast an impressive 20b km range, but also a ridiculous 2900 km/s speed. However, this combination was considered as adequate for their purpose : active scan, passive scan and geosurvey of distant bodies without risking a ship.

14th - 18th of january.
The fleet reduces again its speed to 2000 km/s, then 1000 km/s, hoping being detected as late as possible.

18th of january, 00:46:31
The LESD-2 *finally* arrive and release its second stage : a size 1 multipurpose scanning buoy.
The results are worrying : only the 5 Geoulas remains in orbit of the planet.
Commander Payne decide to immediately turning on the active sensors of the Judas/FS, still 280m km away from the moon, hoping to at least lure the other ships. The speed of the fleet is also set to the maximum 4500 km/s.

18th of january, 00:48:31
Alarms starts to ring in the Judas/FS, then in all other ships of the task force : All the 20 known Romats and 4 new ones are sighted less than 17m km away.
This unexpected turn of events is met with professionalism by the crews, as the distance is still significant enough for not being an immediate threat.
All ships are immediately ordered to go back toward the jump point, and the Judas/FS is detached of the fleet in accordance with the plan.
24 of the Pounders are also ordered to shoot at the Romats.

18th of january, 00:48:56
Pounder-005 -nicknamed "The bucket"- and 016 -nicknamed "Nancy" in honor of the often-lightly-dressed personal assistant of Grand Admiral Christian Brongniart- have the honor of firing the very first salvoes, quickly followed by eight other salvo.
Ten seconds later, almost one hundred Pluton-A and T are flying toward the Romats.
With a relative speed of 37600 km/s for covering the 16.8m km, the missiles are supposed to impact in less than eight minutes... IF they manage to hit those quick targets.

18th of January, 00:56:36
The tension is almost palpable in the ships. Most of the bridge crew are watching the large tactical screens displaying the current situation instead of tending to their allocated subsystems.

One of the few still obviously focused on her task is Karin von Goldblatt, SensOff in the de-facto flagship "Thor-001", reporting in a voice as neutral as possible :
"First impact in 5... 4... 3... 2... 1... Impact! Second impact... Now!"
On the tactical screen, all missiles are replaced by the nuclear detonation symbol. A massive secondary explosion more than three megatons was also reported, leading to some unhealthy grins among the crew.

"Hit report : First wave, 40 missiles, 22 hits. Second wave, 56 missiles, 33 hits. Two additional hits from retargetted missiles. 59.3% hit rate. No sign of point defence."
Commander Payne noticed that this ratio was quite better than the expected one. The fact that half of the missile boats were under the command of some of the most ruthless instructors of the fleet probably helped...

As the explosion began to fade on the screen, the smiles of the bridge crew began to fade as well. Of the 24 targets, only one was vaporized by the lucky (not that lucky for the relevant ship) secondary explosion. Two other ships were sitting ducks, and had been the targets of the 2 retargetted missiles.

21 of those fearsome meson-toting were still inbound at their full speed.

18th of January, 00:57:36
"Captain, no atmosphere venting detected, but sensors detects a signature typical of fluids streaming from 9 of those ships..."
As already damaged ships will probably be minced by the later layers of defence, no need to waste powerful warheads on those...
"Send the IDs of 6 of the non-venting ships to the remaining Pounders."
"Aye aye!"
With due dilligence, CommOff William Wallace (As he often says himself : "No, there's no relation, please stop asking already!") started transmitting those IDs, unfortunately confusing Romat 021 and the already damaged Romat 012...

10 minutes later, the 24 missiles met the 6 targetted ships, crippling two more and leaving them motionless. As the standard AMM-1 "Mosquito" have a range of only 7.3m km, it will takes some time before the Protectors can start their share of work...
« Last Edit: January 18, 2013, 11:23:47 AM by Cocyte »

Offline Icecoon

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Nice writeup. Your missile boats are doing well. But you are lucky, that you did not met 50 or more swarm FACs.

I'm eagerly waiting for the second part. :)
If it's stupid but it works, it isn't stupid.

If fire fighters fight fire and crime fighters fight crime, what do freedom fighters fight?

Offline Cocyte

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18th of January, 01:00:00
A short 10-minutes briefing is held between Commander Payne and the captains of the twelve protectors.
The protectors should lock one Romat each as soon as they can, then fire a single salvo as soon as the ennemy break the 8m km mark.
Furthermore, 8 of the protectors are also ordered to use their secondary fire control to lock the remaining gunships and shot a second salvo toward those ones.
Captain Thierry Citron of the ADF Kite, as expected by his cautious nature, suggested to fire at least two salvoes per target,
but commander Payne rejected this idea in order to conserve ammo and gather more intelligence on the sturdiness of those ships.

18th of January, 01:12:46
The quite persistent Romats are in range of the fire controls of the protectors. All of them were immediately locked by the protectors' fire controls.

18th of January, 01:17:21
"Open Fire!"
The order echos through the hulls of the Protectors frigate, triggering a frenzy of activity in them. thirty seconds later, 144 mosquitoes are launched, and half of the protectors swiches to their second fire control for the next volley.
10 seconds later, 84 additionnal missiles are inbound.

18th of January, 01:19:26
The Romats pass the maximum range of the mosquitoes. The mosquitoes themselves will arrive soon...

18th of January, 01:21:41
Tactical screens are once again filled with explosions. Two hundred missiles usually have this kind of messy effects.
"Hit report : First wave, 144 missiles, 94 hits. Second wave, 84 missiles, 52 hits. 64% hit rate. Several secondary explosion detected."
A few second later, the damage assesment report was met by cheering on the bridge :
"4 targets destroyed, 5 immobilized, 10 still inbound."
Even Commander Payne smiled, as this justified his earlier conservative decision.
"Stop all ships. Set course toward the moon again. Order ten of the protectors to shot a volley at the remaining gunships."
one minute later, 120 mosquitoes are launched, hopefully dooming the remaining gunships.

18th of January, 01:25:31
After 68 impacts, 2 more are destroyed while 3 float motionlessly in space.
New orders are sent to fire 24 missiles per target in order to quickly finish them off. 120 mosquitoes inbound, tally-ho!

18th of January, 01:27:46
The mosquitoes proved more than adequate, as 4 gunship were reduced to irradiated debris and the remaining one is barely mobile.
3 of the salvoes, 36 missiles total, were also reported as self-destructing due to lack of targets.

18th of January, 01:30:00
A new briefing is held, this time directed to the captains of the Thors.
They are ordered to lock and shot at the remaining disabled gunship when the fleet pass them - no need to waste missiles on those cripples.
Bets are made on which one of the Thors will have the best kill count, most wagers are on the 007 and the 009, commanded by the most reactive instructors of the fleet.

Indeed, I'm lucky, but if I had found 50+ of those, I think that i'ld have quarantined the system instead of even trying :)
Seems like I'm quite overcautious following the results of this very conservative strike...

Sorry for the lack of details, but I had a power outage and lost all the pictures and most of the text.
« Last Edit: January 19, 2013, 02:55:47 PM by Cocyte »

Offline Cocyte

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18th of January, 01:35:06
One of the crippled "gunship" is in firing range... and also in optics range.
The first visual contact with those "ships" revealed the cold and hard truth, and explained both the "fluid venting" and the lack of a distinct wreck : Those are not ships, but space capable insectoid life forms.
The twelve turrets opened fire, the exosqueleton of the "bug" melted in several areas, and soon enough the lifeless husk drops out of the sensors.

18th of January, 01:39:41
A bug returns fire before succumbing to the hail of ultraviolet beams.
The 6 dead following the explosion of the active sensor in the unlucky targetted Occulus are the first reported casualties of the battle.
Commander Payne urges his men to stay alert and careful against such unforgiving weapons.

18th of January, 01:40:26
The last of the wounded bug is dealt with. With no immediate threat in the horizon, the current shift is allowed some rest while the fleet continue its progress.

18th of January, 10:00:00. Thor-001 mess hall.
"So... What do you think of those... bugs...", starts commander Payne while slurping a cup of coffee.
Dr Manfred Rorsh glanced uneasily at commander Payne.
- Well, captain, I'm a medecine doctor, not a xenobiologist...
- What about the samples we retrieved, as you suggested?
- Those samples may prove insightful once delivered to a fully equiped BSL-5 lab, and the only one of those is still being qualified on Phobos.
However... Those insectoids are a very interesting example of adaptation to space condition.
I can not even figure how they move in hard vacuum, nor what their life cycle may be, but I am able to extrapolate some data according to their behavior.
There is roughly two class of insects back on earth. Most are composed of similar polyvalent individuals, with sometime some sexual dismorphism. All members of those species are able to hunt and breed by themselves.
However, social insects like ants, bees or termites, are specialized on a given task. As three very different kind of those insectoids have been sighted, we can consider that they follow the same model.
The Romats we encountered are soldier drones, designed to protect some kind of "hive". They seems to lack basic survival instinct, as they just went on attacking despite tremendous losses.
This is in accordance with the behavior of soldier ants on earth.
The Geoula still in orbit of the moon are probably unarmed worker drones, explaining why they did not came to intercept us. The fact that those insects are focused on this moon probably means that their hive is located there.
The huge Eliat is most probably the equivalent of an ant queen but, unlike those, seems to be more mobile and armed according to previous reports.
- So... you mean the Eliat may lay more of those soldiers?
- It is likely... But we cannot be sure before inspecting it closely. Maybe a fourth undetected variant exists, but the size and the uniqueness of the Eliat is a giveaway...
Or those insects may be something completely different from what we're used to see.
- Well, thank you doctor, it was enlightening.
- My pleasure, captain.

18th of January, 11:43:16. Judas/FS bridge
SensOff Xiong Tian Liang was starting the 4th hour of his shift. bleep. Still two to go, and nothing interesting happened. bleep.
His mind was wandering for quite some time now, thinking of his familly back in Canton. bleep.
The smile of Son when he received his awaited "Thor-replica-with-working-turret" last christmas. bleep.
The sad and worried smile of Lan, his wife, when he had to tell her that his ship was scheduled for an "armed recon" mission. bleep.
Lan... bleep.
"CONTACT!" yelled him, cursing his shameful lack of focus, especially after what happened to his old academy friend Ali on Occulus 002 a few hours ago...
"Contact confirmed. 60 000 ton ship, 56.6m km away, right ahead."
"Signature analysed and confirmed as being the already known Eilat 002. Heading straight for the fleet at 1000 km/s."

18th of January, 12:30:00
"The target is now 40mkm away. It will be in range of our Thors in about two hours.
As we obviously have a speed advantage, we can use this agelong military tactic called 'kiting'.
The fleet will carry on closing on the target until it is about 1mkm. The course then will be changed back toward the jump point, at minimal speed.
We will let the target close inside the range of our thors - around 100 000 km, then match its speed. The thor will just have to shot at it until it fall apart.
Even easier than shoting martian pandas. Any question?
Once again, Captain Citron starts speaking.
"Commander, If I may? Thank you... Well... As this is the first contact with this kind of ennemy, perhaps we should start softening it a bit with our mosquitoes?
Furthermore, this thing may have some close range point defenses that we don't knows of, and it will allows to check these before risking any of our ships
After pondering a bit, Commander Payne agreed this time : "Indeed, indeed... All Protectors will shot a single volley at 7.5 mkm. The rest of the plan is unchanged for now - we may revise it after analysing the result of the impact.
Any other issue to raise?
With no further question, the briefing is then ajourned.

18th of January, 13:42:00
"Erm... Commander? You might want to see that..."
"What is it? The EM signatures of the Eilat?"
"Yes, it is... according to computer estimations, those EM signatures are active sensor signature and shield signatures... and... well... they're quite large..."
"A 300 mkm-range active sensor... no wonder those pesky soldiers were sent to intercept us that quickly. They probably detected us as soon as we jumped in the system.
And those shields... How can a living organism can even generate a protection field! Well, this is interesting, but it only means that we'll have to let our lasers hot longer than expected. Nothing more. Unless...
"Nevermind... Thanks for the data, and stay alert, lieutenant. Dismiss."
"Aye aye!"
... Unless this thing lay a second wave of soldiers in front of us, Payne thought.

18th of January, 14:13:56
"Commander? All Protectors are reporting being scrambled and unable to shot. The range of their fire control is reduced by an estimated 30%, at 6.72 mkm."
"Electronic warfare? from a bug? this is getting utterly insane... Order the protectors to fire as soon as they can, then turn back toward the jump point at 1 km/s. Order them to keep a minimal 1 mkm distance with the target."
"Yes sir"

18th of January, 14:16:06
Being finally in range, the Protectors shot their volley, then change course toward the waypoint.
Unfortunately, due to a misconfiguration from a rookie ( ::) ), Only four missiles per ship were launched, followed 5 seconds later by the remaining 8 missiles...

18th of January, 14:16:30
Seeing the missiles streaking on the tactical screens, Commander Payne decides to alter the plan...
"ComOff. Order the Thor group to halt and set course toward the jump point. Minimal speed."
"Order confirmed. Go!"
"Yes sir!"

18th of January, 14:20:36
"First impact in 5... 4... 3... 2... 1... Impact! 3 salvoes destroyed by point defense fire, all other missiles on target - 36 detonations detected. Wait, that's not r... MULTIPLE CONTACTS! 20 new romats, right next to the Eilat!"
"ALL SHIPS! FULL SPEED AHEAD! Protectors are to fire at the Romats - 8 tubes per targets, and they should not stop nuking them 'till they glow!"
"Yes sir!"

Quite an unexpected turn of event...

(In retrospect, it seems like my natural paranoïa is an asset for this game. ;D No idea if I'll make through it however... )

Offline Icecoon

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Yes, unexpected turn of event. So how many missiles do you have in your magazines?  ;D
I wonder why the Eliat sent only 20 romats after your ships and not 40? Maybe the queen has another 20 in her belly. :)
If it's stupid but it works, it isn't stupid.

If fire fighters fight fire and crime fighters fight crime, what do freedom fighters fight?

Offline Cocyte

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Fortunately, the magazine of the Protectors is quite deep - they usually carry 252 AMMs.

Actually, i'm more worried by the fact it's "Eilat 002"... Found 003 in another system (that I may not cleanse - xenoecologists are starting to petition for this system to become a "natural preserve"... Sigh...) but i wonder where #1 lurks...


Offline Icecoon

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i wonder where #1 lurks...

There's no 001. Enemy ships always begin with 002. :)
If it's stupid but it works, it isn't stupid.

If fire fighters fight fire and crime fighters fight crime, what do freedom fighters fight?

Offline Cocyte

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Good to knows :)

18th of January, 14:20:41
The impact of the second salvo on the Eilat was largely ignored in face of the more urging threat of the Romats...
However, Tactical analysis will later revel that 3 of the 8-missiles strong volley were anhihilated by the point blank defenses of the Eilat.

18th of January, 14:21:01
The twelve Protectors start launching missiles, 36 salvoes of 4 missiles each are going straight at the romats.
this salvo is soon followed by other ones every 10 seconds...

18th of January, 14:22:31
"Sir? Protectors reports that 1440 missiles are inbound and ammo is getting low..."
"Cease fire for now, and ask for a detailled ammo report..." In retrospect, maybe the situation is not that bad... 1440 warheads, even if only half of those hit, are bound to make some casualties...

18th of January, 14:23:31
Reports show that 2/3rd of the stockpile of mosquitoes are spent. Six to seven volleys are remaining.

18th of January, 14:24:11
With the first waves of missiles closing on the unexpected guests, the tension is once again as an all time high.
This time, there's none of the powerful Pluton missiles, but only some missiles that were not designed as ship killers.
The first wave impact with some damage as one of the soldier, hit by seven of the eight missiles, is already "bleeding"
The second wave impact lead to two additionnal wounded soldiers, but still no casualties
The third wave is the significant one, as two soldiers are now idle and 3/4 of the rest are leaking their vital fluids from several holes in their exosqueleton
The fourth volley proves decisive, with several secondary explosions wreaking havoc on the remaining Romats. Only eight of them are still able to continue their progression.

Five survivors after the fifth volley, then only two survives the sixth. Same after the seventh...

This is when Commander Payne realize that those two are not expecially lucky - they were not targetted by those waves...
Orders are sent to send to send a single volley at them, six ship per target.
Additional orders are sent to ADF Aspis and Yetholm to shot a second volley at the Eilat "just in case this box have other jacks inside", unfortunately the hive ship is now out of range of the fire controls of the frigates.
Meanwhile, the crippled ships are all reduced to debris by the later waves of missiles, leaving only this dirty pair to take care of.

18th of January, 14:27:36
The two survivors did not survive any longer when those 120 missiles reached them and blasted them out of this corner of the galaxy.
As Eilat is not in range, the fleet cuts their engine and simply wait for it...

(edited : 12x12x10 = 1440, not 1200. Spam spam spam spam... And this "wrecking havoc" shows I'm not a native english speaker)
« Last Edit: January 23, 2013, 04:42:26 PM by Cocyte »

Offline Cocyte

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18th of January, 14:35:16
24 missiles are launched at the Eilat.
The fleet speed is set to 1000 km/s... Just in case...
Less than five minutes later, the missiles reach the Eilat. Only 5 of the 24 missiles actually survives the hail of point defense fire.
The speed of the Thor battlegroup is set to a minimum again.

18th of January, 16:28:21
As the Eilat is almost in laser range, the Thor battlegroup slowly accelerate to keep it over the 100 000 km mark, then starts to open fire...
Only to notice that ECMs works in many way.
Despite the size of the behemoth, the laser turrets fire control can not track the Eilat.
The fleet slows down a bit again, hoping that reducing the range may prove useful...

18th of January, 16:31:01
At 90000 km, a lucky shot manage to hit the Eilat, but one shot won't be enough.
At 70000 km, the hit chance seems to be a ridiculous 20%.
After several minutes with no obvious progress, a drastic decision to close the range to 61000 km is taken.
The damage is still a measly one per hit, but the hit ratio is now an almost impressive 25%.
Commander Payne wonder if he should petition for tankers or for some ECCM equipment for the fleet...

18th of January, 16:36:21
The Eilat is following the battlegroup for quite some time, its shields slowly depleted by the lasers. One of the bridge crew of Thor-005 starts whistling the now classical tune Yakety Sax.
He is immediately reprimanded by his captain and scheduled for "turret oiling duty".

18th of January, 16:40:01
After nine minutes of almost constant laser fire, the shields of the Eilat are down to 300, half of their original strength.
Still 300 to go, then the carapace of the thing, then some internal damage... perhaps...

18th of January, 16:46:06
Shields finally down, time to sandblast some armor...
Yawn again.

18th of January, 16:52:46
All the Thors are focusing their fire on the Eilat when, suddenly... The mess staff brings a round of hot coffee for the bored bridge crew.
Guess what? If you said 'Yawn', You won!

18th of January, 17:00:11
At last, the monstrosity is showing signs of weakening. A trail of fluid is spotted on its port side, right next to a pseudopod.

18th of January, 17:04:01
After more than half an hour of boring repetitive one-sided shooting, the bleeding of the Eilat is now consistent. Now every volley lead to new leaks.

18th of January, 17:04:06
One of the laser hits a weird antenna, turning it to ashes. Seems like it was a vital part of the biological ECM of the Eilat, as the fire controls of the Thors are now working as intended.

In the later minutes, the fact that some explosions are sighted, as well as the reduction of thermal and EM signatures, are a giveaway : one by one, the various organs of the strange beast are failing under the volume of the now accurate laser fire.
On Judas/FS, SensOff Xiong Tian Liang mutters "Ni yi jing su le" before sipping some tea, hoping for his unexpectedly long shift to end.

18th of January, 17:06:16
The tiredness of the various crew is starting to show, and in a ruthless way.
Some mistake were made when recomputing the required speed to stay at the same distance of the target.
Result is that the battlegroup fell under the 60000 km range...

Thor-6 was immediately hit by several meson beams, piercing a rack of fuel tanks, destroying two shield generator and hitting the turret - fortunately with no significant damage.
Emergency devices immediately set the fleet to full speed again. No casualties are reported.

Twenty seconds later, the dead Eilat falls off the sensors.

The rest of the operation is a trivial sweeping of the workers, which proves indeed unarmed, and not very interesting to add on the report

And the fuel shortage leading to the stranding of the fleet in the Sirius system is too shameful to add on the report... Wait, did I wrote it? Doh!


Code: [Select]
***The nice and friendly space butterflies***
Name # of ships t/ship tonnage
Romat/Soldier 44 800 35200
Eilat/Queen 1 60000 60000
Geoula/Worker 5 5760 28800
Total offensive 45 95200
Total 'support' 5 28800
Total 50 124000

All destroyed

***The evil expansionistic aggressive Terran Federation***
Name # of ship t/ship tonnage
Thor 12 4000 48000
Protector 12 4000 48000
GB-1/M 30 1000 30000
GB-1/S 2 1000 2000
Judas 2 4000 8000
MilJump 8k 1 8000 8000
Total offensive 54 126000
Total support 5 18000
Total 59 144000

Two ship damaged, 6 crew dead

So...I think it was a very smooth operation, especially for a ion-tech level fleet.
The advantage in ship tonnage may have played a bit.

The alpha strike from the missile boat was actually not really significant - The bugswatters worked wonderfully by themselves.

the laser wielding Thors proved a bit lacking however.
Trying to compromise by using 12cm lasers was not a good idea - the next version of the Thor will have a quad 10cm laser, far enough for AM duty, allowing the housing of a single hull-mounted 15cm for some real (for this tech level) punch.
The reactor should be able to provide for both at the same time, so the 10cm might be used offensively if no counterfire is expected.

ECM is annoying for missile ships, but is really crippling for beamships. ECCM research is planned ASAP.

Jump-capable tankers are ALSO planned ASAP. the new fuel model is very demanding. And those ships does not use ludicrously overboosted engines (x1.5 for the MS3, x1.25 for the MSes3).

EDIT : After emergency refuelling from the carrier group, and complete refuelling once back on good ol' earth, I noticed that my fuel stockpile dropped from 110M to 80M. Ouch. The good ol' R. H. Goddard shipyard will resume its building of fuel harvesters...

« Last Edit: January 23, 2013, 05:10:55 PM by Cocyte »

Offline Icecoon

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Nice reading. Yes you have to be careful when you want to attack the queen with beam ships. Once i gave the order to close the distance to get better accuracy and I accidentally hit the 5min increment instead of 5sec. You can imagine the results. :)
If it's stupid but it works, it isn't stupid.

If fire fighters fight fire and crime fighters fight crime, what do freedom fighters fight?

Offline Ektoras

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I enjoyed reading your combat report. Well done


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