Author Topic: War Stories of Alpha Centauri Arena  (Read 3881 times)

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Offline SteelChicken

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Re: War Stories of Alpha Centauri Arena
« Reply #15 on: February 25, 2013, 01:34:20 PM »
This is a great thread, thanks!
 

Offline Nightstar

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Re: War Stories of Alpha Centauri Arena
« Reply #16 on: February 25, 2013, 03:10:22 PM »
Mmk. Redo time:
Code: [Select]
Beam fighters:   
Missile defense: point defense, carrier sacrifice
Beam defense:    None really :/
Offense:         LOTS
Range:           Short beam
Speed:           medium

On your specific design, I still might switch out the spruances.

The fighter's long range and deployment time make a lot more sense when the carriers' main purpose is decoy.

Note: If the carriers aren't fast enough to come in range, the enemy only needs to kill the microscan equipped fighters to become practically unkillable.

Revised analysis against the other fleets:
> Fast Rail Frigates.
They'll still get kited and die. These fighters are kinda slow.
> Gauss Turreted Tanks
Known win.
> Missile Fighters
These can cripple or destroy most of the carriers. Then they run out of ammo. Results largely depend on how much ammo the missile fighters save. The inability to use AMMs to shoot down fighters is a problem here. All in all, this is one of those beautiful fights that depend on tactical ability.
> Very Long Ranged Missile
Ineterestingly, the long range missiles again just fail to kill the carriers entirely. This fleet has better luck in that it'll likely spot the fighters before opening fire with the smaller missiles. More fun, while the smaller missiles can probably cripple all the fighters, there may not be quite enough left to finish the carriers. If a carrier can repair itself and a couple fighters, (or you just keep one of each fighter in reserve) the long range missile fleet may end up destroyed by a pair of mesons. Disadvantages of having no beam weaponry!
> Classic Missile Fleet
Yet again, they run out of missiles. Since they can't use their giant stocks of AMMs on fighters, their only chance is a commander that saves enough ASMs. More tactical fun.
> Shielded Fleet
This can do damage after it runs out of missiles! Better, its shields stop HPMs. By my calcs, this can beat the beam fighters without any missiles, though it may be fairly close. Scratch that, I'm not at all sure who will win. What's left of the carriers will need to provide scanners probably, but the beam fighters are looking favorable.
> Fast Attack Kiting Craft
Kited anyway.

Of the fleets, the main missile fleet is most likely to save its missiles. It has defense against any surprise missile attacks, and it will be clear earlier that it can't kill all the enemy. The shielded fleet is also relatively likely to save its missiles, which would let it win. Also interesting is that the carriers are quite dangerous, just by having a few mesons and a bunch of armor. They can't force an engagement, but they might hold their own jump point for reinforcements.

I'm now much more impressed than I was with this fleet. On my designs, I'd probably switch out a carrier for 6-35 armor on the other carriers. Though, to be entirely fair, a bunch of the missile designs may be able to run and reload once they start getting low on missiles. With access to reloads from a population, things might change.

It's increasingly looking like missiles can't easily finish off a similar size armored fleet at this tech level. I gotta rethink my doctrines.
 

Offline TheDeadlyShoe

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Re: War Stories of Alpha Centauri Arena
« Reply #17 on: February 25, 2013, 03:17:10 PM »
They never really could.  It just seemed that way because the NPRs tended to have very thin skinned vessels and tended to not turn on their AMM sensors.
 

Offline sublight

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Re: War Stories of Alpha Centauri Arena
« Reply #18 on: February 25, 2013, 04:08:15 PM »
Here's a dirty little secret: the Beam Fighters were original created as a joke fleet, destined to fail spectacularly as a counterpoint to missile fighters. After all, all of us 'knew' that making an effective beam fighter was nearly impossible: partially because of the pre-6 single fighter engine limit. The only people who did use beam fighters seemed to be experienced players trying to make combat against the NPRs even more challenging.

The beam fighter fleet is optimistic enough to hope that their foes are all using 50% reduced launchers with 100+ resolution fire controls that will only get one, maybe two, launches in on the small fighters before they enter beam range. Using the carriers as missile decoys is Plan B.


Its too bad the NPRs aren't programmed to keep any ship with only res-1 scanners always in active scanner mode.
 

Offline Nightstar

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Re: War Stories of Alpha Centauri Arena
« Reply #19 on: February 25, 2013, 05:29:02 PM »
AI has really influenced designs.  :(  That and Steve's stories. I'd really love a way to play a human intelligence.... Most of my designs can certainly beat up the AI, but that's not a hard bar to meet. Particularly as the AI is predictable. No fighters, no decoys, no well built beam fleets. You could get around the need for AI to have good designs by using nethackesque bones files, but AI tactics would still be horrible.

Unusual tactics are fun. Though, there's no particular need for the fast carried beam ships to be fighters. Fighters have a few advantages, in fire controls, logistics, scanners, and overwhelming targets. Despite those, a 3kton ship would work better in some ways than six fighters. As long as it fits in the carrier that is. As far as logistics go, I tend to 500t 1kt 2kt 4kt etc. so my carriers are more interchangable.

Sadly, using the carrs as decoys kinda has to be plan A. Problem is, once your opponent knows you have hidden ships, (and that the big ships are probably unarmed) they'll play more cautiously. Maybe if you have a darn good EM sensor to be pretty sure they don't have small res sensors.
 

Offline TheDeadlyShoe

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Re: War Stories of Alpha Centauri Arena
« Reply #20 on: February 25, 2013, 06:18:49 PM »
it kinda depends on what you are trying to accomplish.

There are several different paths to victory in a beam engagement.

1.) Faster, Longer Ranged.
This is the holy grail, as a single combatant that is both faster and longer ranged can defeat an effectively unlimited number of enemies.   And it doesn't really matter what design compromises you have to make if you can accomplish the primary goal.  Fighters arn't good at this generally - they usually (with a handful of limited exceptions) can't fit both a 4x range firecontrol and a long range weapon in 500t.  This strategy usually requires technical superiority.  Parasite warships tend to be good at this owing to strong engines.

Arguably measures should be taken to make this harder, but oh well :)

3.) Slower, Longer Ranged
Fighters can't do this either, owing to their problems , but is a viable path for larger ships.  Again, it typically requires tech superiority.

2.) Faster, Firepower Superiority
This is where beam fighters tend to shine.  Fighters can achieve very high speeds owing to minimal support system needs, and can usually only fit short range beam systems in the first place.  It's also the only strategy to achieving beam victory against higher tech opponents.

It should also be noted that only fighters benefit from the new Fighter Combat Bonus, which gives them an additional +to hit with beam weapons. 

Of course for that to work you have to be faster to begin with. It is logical to conclude that a beam fighter design should concentrate on speed almost to the exclusion of other factors;  lack of firepower or armor can be overcome with more numbers, but fighters that are too slow are useless.
 

Offline sublight

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Re: War Stories of Alpha Centauri Arena
« Reply #21 on: March 16, 2013, 02:42:37 PM »
Writing Style #4: The Graphic Novel
The Story of Long-Ranged Missile Fleet fighting Shields






































==================================

Winner:
Shielded Fleet
Shielded Fleet Losses: 1x Turkministian, 1x Zambia
Long Missile Losses: 1x reinforcement wave, 1x Wooden, 2x Skadi

Shields are extremely effective against slow-cycle missiles as long as a single wave or two can't take out the target.

Round 2 Lineup:
Beam Fighters vs Fast Rail
Fast Missiles vs Shielded Fleet
Gauss Tanks vs Missile Fighters
Fast Attack Craft vs Long Missiles

Round 2 matches will feature the reinforcements moving towards a predesignated waypoint immediately rather than wait for orders after transiting. This will make the beam jump defense tactics slightly less effective.
 

Offline Nightstar

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Re: War Stories of Alpha Centauri Arena
« Reply #22 on: March 17, 2013, 08:56:20 AM »
Alright, next:
Code: [Select]
Gauss Tanks
Missile defense: point defense + armor
Beam defense:    heavy armor
Offense:         particle beam
Range:           medium beam
Speed:           sloooooow

Well, against missiles, this is hard to kill. Really, really hard to kill. It does, however, suffer from penalties because of that. Because of its speed, it must maintain beam superiority at ALL ranges in order to win a fight. It also can't force an engagement. Best case scenario is an enemy gambling on a win and losing. It's more likely that attackers will run out of missiles, but just run away. Or, of course, the tanks could die.

As jump point defense, it's potentially pretty nasty -- against a standard transit. Squad transit will end up out of range of the gauss cannons, and its particle beams aren't going to do a whole lot of damage before the enemy runs away.

On a further note, it can't even easily force an enemy to defend their planet. None of its guns will penetrate atmosphere, and it's so darn slow an enemy could tug their shipyards away. Its strategy seem to be 'you can't kill me -- now what?'

Deployment time is low compared to how slow they are. Increasing it might make sense.

You have no emergency active scanners on the Moyotes. Possible weakness.

[ooc]This has been sitting unfinished for weeks. I couldn't find a design I really liked with the same principles, and I never got back to opening up my design windows.[/ooc]

Predictions:

Fast rail: Lose. Barring problems like the idiot initiative system or it trying to move closer than 30k km
Missile: Draw? Neither fleet does enough damage. Tanks hold the JP, so I guess you would call it a win. Can't hurt anything but ignorant reinforcement waves.
MFig: Same. Mfigs do overwhelm firecontrols, so the tank fleet will be losing ships. The colliers are likely to explode spectacularly, so the reinforcements won't break through to finish em off.
L Missile: Same.
Kite: The beam kites don't have enough range to kite! I'd favor the tanks, but the kites will do a bunch of damage. The kites are likely to figure out the tactic of throwing missiles from inside point defense range.
Shield: Beams! This is... Close. Really close. Tanks have the advantage because only half the enemy ships (priority targets) have beam weapons. Shield might be able to win by throwing missiles from too close to intercept, but they're unlikely to figure out that tactic in time. Shield ships don't have quite enough shields to bounce in and out of range. Unless, maybe, they kill a tank or two THEN start that tactic. I won't call this one.

What I would have built:

5x Massacre
1x massacre EM
Reinforcements:
1x Massacre
1x Massacre EM
Code: [Select]
Massacre class Cruiser    9,850 tons     258 Crew     1119.8 BP      TCS 197  TH 180  EM 0
913 km/s     Armour 5-40     Shields 0-0     Sensors 1/1/0/0     Damage Control Rating 3     PPV 84
Maint Life 2.03 Years     MSP 213    AFR 258%    IFR 3.6%    1YR 69    5YR 1036    Max Repair 77 MSP
Intended Deployment Time: 6 months    Spare Berths 0   
Cryogenic Berths 200   

180 EP Commercial Ion Drive (1)    Power 180    Fuel Use 2.46%    Signature 180    Exp 3%
Fuel Capacity 50,000 Litres    Range 37.1 billion km   (470 days at full power)

Single 15cm C2 Ultraviolet Laser Turret (15x1)    Range 240,000km     TS: 16000 km/s     Power 6-2     RM 4    ROF 15        6 6 4 3 2 2 1 1 1 1
Fire Control S02 16-16000 (3)    Max Range: 32,000 km   TS: 16000 km/s     37 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Fire Control S04 128-4000 (1)    Max Range: 256,000 km   TS: 4000 km/s     92 84 77 69 61 53 45 37 30 22
Gas-Cooled Fast Reactor Technology PB-1 (7)     Total Power Output 31.5    Armour 0    Exp 5%

Active Search Sensor MR2-R1 (1)     GPS 45     Range 2.3m km    Resolution 1

This design is classed as a Military Vessel for maintenance purposes

Code: [Select]
Massacre - EM class Cruiser    9,850 tons     256 Crew     1099.8 BP      TCS 197  TH 180  EM 0
913 km/s     Armour 5-40     Shields 0-0     Sensors 1/15/0/0     Damage Control Rating 3     PPV 84
Maint Life 2.04 Years     MSP 209    AFR 258%    IFR 3.6%    1YR 67    5YR 1007    Max Repair 77 MSP
Intended Deployment Time: 6 months    Spare Berths 2   
Cryogenic Berths 400   

180 EP Commercial Ion Drive (1)    Power 180    Fuel Use 2.46%    Signature 180    Exp 3%
Fuel Capacity 50,000 Litres    Range 37.1 billion km   (470 days at full power)

Single 15cm C2 Ultraviolet Laser Turret (15x1)    Range 240,000km     TS: 16000 km/s     Power 6-2     RM 4    ROF 15        6 6 4 3 2 2 1 1 1 1
Fire Control S02 16-16000 (3)    Max Range: 32,000 km   TS: 16000 km/s     37 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Fire Control S04 128-4000 (1)    Max Range: 256,000 km   TS: 4000 km/s     92 84 77 69 61 53 45 37 30 22
Gas-Cooled Fast Reactor Technology PB-1 (7)     Total Power Output 31.5    Armour 0    Exp 5%

Minipaint (1)     GPS 5     Range 250k km    Resolution 1
EM Detection Sensor EM3-15 (1)     Sensitivity 15     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  15m km

This design is classed as a Military Vessel for maintenance purposes
~20% worse in point defense and armor, far nastier in beam combat. I tried to stay close to your designs in most aspects. Dual purpose lasers work pretty well. Effectiveness against AMM fire is worse though. Problems of a 15s firerate.

Next up: Fast rail.
 

Offline sublight

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Re: War Stories of Alpha Centauri Arena
« Reply #23 on: April 07, 2013, 01:19:30 PM »
Writing Style #5: A History Buff's explanation.
The Story of Missile Fighters attempting to resist Gauss Tanks


On paper, the the Missile Fighter Fleet of the Mark & Sons Corporation is the best in the world. The Mark-I fighter-bomber is the fastest ship in human space. Armed with triple medium-range ship-killer missiles, a fighter squadron carries the power to destroy most ships of equal tonnage and the speed to retreat from anything that survives their first attack run.

The Heavy cruisers of the Guass, by contrast, are instruments of blunt utilitarian force. With little more than 15% of their mass devoted to propulsion, the Moyote and Zenzontle are juggernauts filled almost entirely with weapons and armor but almost entirely lacking in subtlety.

In the first clash, the Mark-Is closed uncontested to range and launch a barrage of 84 blood hound missiles against a Moyote. 42 missiles were shot down by point defense fire. 41 were absorbed by armor. Only the 84th missile alone caused atmospheric venting. By most standards, the untouched fighters won the engagement, yet this also underscored the fighter's greatest weakness: the fighters were raiders by design. Eight volleys would destroy the Guass, but the fighters had ammunition for less than three.

On paper, the Spiral Ammunition Runner was the answer. The standard magazine of the Missile Fighter Fleet is a size-1 single-reload armored magazine, with each magazine having sufficient space to hold the 3x size-4 missiles needed to reload a Mark-I fighter-bomber plus reinforcement padding them out to 4-HTK. As a result, with a 100 internal HTK rating the Spiral ammunition runner is by some definition the toughest ship in fleet, allowing it to survive blockade weapon fire long enough to deliver enough missiles to reload three squadrons of fighters.

The realities of war, however, often trump the elegance of design. Despite having standing orders, the inexperienced crew of the reinforcements insisted on waiting for acknowledgement before continuing onward in-system. Within 45 seconds they were moving again, but the Heavy Cruisers required just 20 seconds to start firing, and 25 more to leave every ship an engineless cripple.

The Cacle faired better. A combination of thick armor, automated CIWS units, and extensive use of small fuel storage modules for increased HTK compartmentalization allowed the Guass reinforcements to survive. Only one cacle was lost, leaving a 2nd badly wounded and the 3rd untouched.

From this moment the fight was lost, yet the Missile Fighters made a valiant attempt at a 3rd attack run. Closing to just 100k km before the enemy reinforcements could rejoin the main body, the fighters launched the last remaining missiles from a distance at which the point defense weapons could not respond. One Mark-I was destroyed by particle beams, but the 43rd unopposed missile was enough to destroy the previously damaged Moyote. As a result, the 2nd resupply wave faced 17% fewer gauss turrets. The reduction made no difference, and once again every missile fighter reinforcment was lost with all hands.

With no missiles remaining the Missile Fighter fleet reluctantly surrendered. They were a raiding fleet, incapable of holding grounds.

Winner: Guass Tanks.
Tank Losses: 1x Moyote heavy cruiser, 1x Cacle light cruiser.
Missile Fighter Losses: 1x Mark-I, 2x Reinforcement waves.

=================

I thought missile fighters would do better. They work well against the AI and when based defensively on top of a planetary missile stockpile, but either got unlucky in the bracketing or perform poorly at this tech level in remote-system fleet actions.

I also learned that fleets will always stop for acknowledgement if they make a transit into point-blank beam-fire range. Previously I had mistakenly thought order acknowledgment delays only happened when an order queue was cleared or was previously empty.

Free Advise: If you can afford the fuel cost (fuel runs from 1bp = 2,000 L if refiner produced up to 1bp = 8,000 L if harvester produced) then running up task force training before a battle is very, very, helpful. If I ever run an Arena 2 I'll set 1bp = 5000 Liters in the fighter/ordinance BP pool and allow extra fuel to be purchased for fleet training.

Next battle to report is Fast Attack Kites vs Long Missiles.
 

Offline Charlie Beeler

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Re: War Stories of Alpha Centauri Arena
« Reply #24 on: April 09, 2013, 12:26:23 PM »
Hm.  Did the Fighter force know, in general, that the Gauss force was so short ranged and slow before deployment?

My assumption is that you've allowed for general knowledge of the opposing factions design outlines.  (class speed/weapon type/armor preference/etc) But not specifics of which class does what.

If that is the case then the Fighter force should have won.  Bring the main force in close the the Gauss group (1-2m/km) to facilitate faster recovery/turn around. 

Send strikegroup into 100-110k/km and launch missiles.  Target selection.  If the Zenzontle class has displayed an active emission then split the first strike between both.  If only the single Cacle has shown actives then it gets hammered by half the first strike and the other half targets one of the cruisers.  This assumes a knowledge that the OPFOR does not maintain minimum actives on every combat ship and that a mission kill by taking out the fleets eyes is a reasonable expectation.  Either way, the fighters are given orders to return their motherships the cycle after launch to minimize time inside the beam engagement envelope.

Yes, getting in that close but the fighters at risk vs the main beams.  But as you noted, it completely takes beam point defense out of the equation.  The loss of 1 or 2 fighters for functionally all of your missiles hitting is worth it.  It does assume that you know that the OPFOR has no way to directly counter.


Amateurs study tactics, Professionals study logistics - paraphrase attributed to Gen Omar Bradley
 

Offline sublight

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Re: War Stories of Alpha Centauri Arena
« Reply #25 on: April 09, 2013, 02:30:41 PM »
Although the the fleets were played as if they knew nothing of each other before the fight, the primary cause for their loss were tactical mistakes on my part.

The Gauss slow speed was unknown before hand, but easily observable. Likewise, the fleet scout could have been used to check for active scanners before hand and logically concluded that the Gauss fleet had no anti-ship missiles.

However, the largest mistake was my assumption of ship behavior on gate transit. The fighters and I assumed that their reinforcements would charge full speed out of the gate toward any destination already in the order queue. At worst, I thought the ships would be outside of guass range in 15 seconds, possibly escaping point defense fire all together. They may have to weather a storm of particle shots, but at worst only a single ship would have been lost. As a result, rather than trying to do whatever they could to weaken the gate defense the fighters flew to the opposite side of the map to pick off the jump-blind Gauss reinforcements. The sickening feeling I got on seeing "Awaiting Acknowledgement" was even worse than when I saw the Fast Attack Kites over a million km out of position on their failed jump point defense.

And, like my permitting the Fast Attack Kites to loose over a career ending mistake, so the Fighters lost in part to a similar mistake.
« Last Edit: April 09, 2013, 02:32:39 PM by sublight »
 

Offline Charlie Beeler

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Re: War Stories of Alpha Centauri Arena
« Reply #26 on: April 09, 2013, 02:42:40 PM »
Assuming a lack of knowledge of the OPFOR makes sense.

How are you handling the fleets locating each other?  It doesn't sound like your using active scouting1 and don't have DSTS in system.

1-Active Scouting being the deployment of scouts, not necessarily with active sensors.
Amateurs study tactics, Professionals study logistics - paraphrase attributed to Gen Omar Bradley
 

Offline sublight

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Re: War Stories of Alpha Centauri Arena
« Reply #27 on: April 09, 2013, 03:23:54 PM »
Active scouting was used, but not reported. After sitting on the last battle for two weeks with a dead muse I decided to write up something quick and move on to the next fight. All of the little scouting details, including when the Providence fleet scout closed to 110k km of the guass tanks in a survivability test for the later point-blank fighter mission, were omitted.

Anyway, the gravitational survey data of Alpha Centauri is common knowledge in this set up, so the two strategic objectives (the jump points) are known in advance.

In some battles each force moves directly toward the enemy jump point and the two fleets meet in the middle. In this last battle the Fighters sent the carriers off to hide in deep space, and then launched an RM-09 class Fighter-Scout to monitor each jump point. When the Guass fleet showed up at the Fighter's home jump point the remaining fighters were launched for attack along a zig-zag path that wouldn't point back toward the carriers.
 

Offline sublight

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Re: War Stories of Alpha Centauri Arena
« Reply #28 on: April 10, 2013, 09:18:28 PM »
I've heard a lot of feed back on tactics, but not so much on writing styles, so here is something completely different:

Writing Style #6: Haiku.
A tribute to the one-sided slaughter of Fast Kites by Long Missiles.



Big eye seen, threat not.
Overconfident by all.
Flash! Minnows rush

One eye known, two no
Final step to go: Thwarted!
Survivors flee, three.

Big, small, Homeward be
Reinforce! Rearm! Return!
Calm leads storm follows.

Idlevs sacrifice
Minnows follow, missiles eat.
Endless rain, parley.

Winner: Long Missiles
Casualties:
  Long Missiles: None.
  Fast Kites: Almost everything.

Next Fight:
Beam Fighters vs Fast Railgun Frigates
 

Offline sublight

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Re: War Stories of Alpha Centauri Arena
« Reply #29 on: June 29, 2013, 07:05:43 PM »
Beam Fighters vs Fast Rail Frigates

The Frigates won. Mistakes were made on all sides, some more severe than others, but in the end the rail frigates won with nearly reparable component damage. Any proper report would be tediously dull unless written as high drama from 1st or 2nd person perspective. The next time I feel like writing a high-drama short story I'll come back to this. Until then, moving on.


Writing Style #7: Recollections
A recounting of Shield Fleet vs Classic Missiles


The clash between the Shielded Fleet and the Classic Missiles is, without a doubt, the closest fight the Alpha Cenauri Arena has seen that was not decided by a tremendous strategic or tactical mistake. The contest opened with remarkably little subtle, with both sides charging the other jump point and meeting in the center. The Shielded fleet established contact first by detecting the Classic Missile active scanner emissions. Orders were given to close to 30m km for missile firing.

Within the hour, the Classic Missile fleet established contact by active sensor ping. They closed gave orders to close to 70m km. Uncertain of their target, the fleet launched four salvos, one each against a different target, before ceasing to observe and reload from the colliers. Observations indicated that the targets had at least class-2 armor, shields somewhere between strength 35-45, point defense batteries capable of destroying 2-4 salvos, and no anti-missiles. The intelligence gain almost made up for the depressed realization that they had just fired nearly a third of their offense to negligible effect. Determined to make up the loss, the classic missile fleet adjusted orders to close to 9m km, so that the Nahid escorts could use their size-4 tubes to provide a 25% increase in missile density.

As the fleets closed passed 32m km the Shielded fleet had there chance to realized that their plans were flawed as they slowly realized that their adversaries were smaller than the 125 resolution used. No firing solution would be available until the 20.8m km mark. At 18m km the shielded missiles had their chance to open fire.

The hailstone missile of the Shielded fleet exemplified the philosophy that quantity has a quality of its own. The 30x outbound missiles in each wave, fired 45 seconds apart, were an impressive sight sure to leave their victim a realization of impending doom. The shielded fleet fired a full wave against each of the Falaq destroyers seen to have a large anti-ship scanner. The Nahid, for their part, were quick to respond to the threat, and began promptly launching AMM 3:1 as the inbound missiles appeared. By the 2nd wave the missiles did begin to inspire fear, but it was fear that the Nahid would run out of missiles rather than any worry of being overwhelmed. The order was given to cut back to a 2:1 AMM ratio to make the missiles last. On the third wave the order was given to resume launching the SuckerPunch ASM, this time 2.5 waves per target.

As the last HailStone wave vanished emotions peaked high on all sides. The shielded fleet with disappointed disbelief that of the 120 missiles launched only a single hit leaked through. The Classic Missile fleet was wavering between giddy relief of survival and disappointment at another suboptimal missile launch. One one hand the Nahid had fired 75% of their stocks in an effort that left one escort with just 5 missiles remaining, while their nearly unscathed survival proved that their launch need not have been hurried.

The 2nd set of SuckerPunch impacts established a new high for effectiveness. On each target the 1st wave shattered the shields, the 2nd wave shattered the armor, and the next half wave destroyed internal components. Both targeted Turk and Zambia were left venting atmosphere even if only one was slowed. The Classic Missile fleet reloaded a final time from colliers, closed to 9m km, and opened up an improved volley of 30 suckerpunch missiles, a wave and a half at each previously injured foe. The results were devastating. The extra missiles were desisive, allowing the first wave to shatter the rebuilt shield and nock the target out of formation. The next half wave then struck the vulnerable ship separated from protective point defense fire with a killing blow. Two shielded ships were destroyed, but with insufficient missiles to reload all launchers the missile fleet was forced to give ground as the shielded fleet pressed onward to camp on the Classic fleet's jump point. For the next 19 days the two fleets sat in draw, waiting.

The wait ended with the jump emergence of reinforcements. The Shielded fleet immediately opened fire with point defense weapons. The defending Classic missile fleet ordered the slower Nahid and Falaq destroyers to separate from the Fath colliers to allow the missile reloads to speed ahead. Freed from the slower destroyers, the fath immediately rocketed out of the ambush before the first Zambia could open fire. In the end, both reinforcing destroyers were lost, while both colliers escaped to rearm the main fleet. For now, the two fleets stood tied at two kills, although this distinction would scarcely last the hour.

Partially reamed, the Classic missile fleet unloaded everything they had in four waves, two waves targeting each of the Zambia cruisers now known to carry the point defense guns. Weakened by the earlier loss of one Zambia, additional missiles leaked through the remaining point defense fire. This time two waves were enough. A 2nd Zambia fell, allowing the 3rd to fall as well despite the 4th missile wave being understrength. The Classic missile fleet now stood at four kills, although the losses were immediately replaced by Zambia and Turk in the shielded fleet reinforcement group. Again, the two fleets settled down to wait.

At first the 2nd wave of reinforcements ran better than ever for the classic missiles, the single point defense Zambia managed to take out a single fath collier while the other collier and two destroyers began their escape, but this escape proved short lived. The Turk from the 1st reinforcement group had been saving its missiles for the occasion, and began launching salvos one by one at the escapees until they were slowed to below the shielded fleet speed. The reinforcing Falaq made a valiant effort at covering the retreat, firing missiles point-blank as the shields tried to close. However, the shields were happy to drop back to recharge and this defiance soon ended when the lone falaq's magazines ran dry. With no survivors from the 2nd reinforcement wave the unarmed classic missile fleet was compelled to reluctantly surrender.

Winner: Shielded Missile Fleet
Casualties:
  Shielded Missiles: 3x Zambia, 1x Turkmenistan
  Classic Missiles: 2x Falaq, 2x Nahid, 2x Fath


Four more matches and this version of Alpha Centari will be completed.
Shielded Missiles vs Fast Rail Frigates for 1st and 2nd place,
Classic Missiles vs Guass and Beam Fighters vs Long Missiles in the looser bracket semi-finnal, with the winners then facing off for the 3rd and 4th place spots.


Is anyone interested in seeing me do a 2nd Alpha Centauri arena at a higher tech level once this one ends, and if so would anyone be interested in submitting designs instead of everything being my own creation?
 

 

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