Author Topic: From the Ashes - part 30  (Read 2311 times)

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Offline Haji

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From the Ashes - part 30
« on: March 29, 2017, 12:07:28 PM »
12th May 2409

   The first ten space stations arrive in orbit of Kensington allowing the colony to support vessels up to forty thousand tonnes, which includes all the existing warships with the exception of carriers.

24th July 2409

   All three Invincible class ships have been refitted to the assault version. As the shipyard will begin retooling and later building at least one, possibly more battleships and no one really knows when it will be able to work on more carriers, the Hegemony government decides to lay down one more despite lack of escorts.

20th November 2409

   The Hegemony develops longer ranged fire controls for their beam weapons leading them to create new versions of their newer warships. However there will be no upgrades, as the need to create a significant force of specialised designs for the jump point assault against Kinharans means any distraction has to be avoided.
   The next generation warships will be able to use their lasers form four hundred and eighty thousand kilometres away. The vessels will also include new particle beams which have range of four hundred thousand kilometres.

14th April 2410

   Thanks to the growing population of Gniezno, now exceeding two hundred and sixty million, it became possible to expand the Republican shipyards responsible for production of the battleships. While the government was somewhat opposed to enlarged naval spending the population saw full utilisation of the planet's population for naval production as the minimum necessary for security of the nation, so it was politically impossible to reject the expansion. This led to creation of a new battleship, the Mont Blanc. Massing a hundred thousand tonnes the vessel is a fairly straightforward upgrade of the preceding New Atlantis class and as such is a pure missile platform but with thirty percent more ordnance, better sensors, electronic warfare suit and thicker armour.

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Mont Blanc class Battleship    100 000 tons     1040 Crew     22028.0001 BP      TCS 2000  TH 11520  EM 0
5760 km/s     Armour 10-191     Shields 0-0     Sensors 192/192/0/0     Damage Control Rating 71     PPV 1170
Maint Life 2.51 Years     MSP 9775    AFR 1126%    IFR 15.6%    1YR 2157    5YR 32354    Max Repair 900 MSP
Intended Deployment Time: 24 months    Spare Berths 0   
Magazine 7800   

Robinson & Dean Inertial Fusion Drive (8)    Power 1440    Fuel Use 9.6%    Signature 1440    Exp 9%
Fuel Capacity 5 000 000 Litres    Range 93.8 billion km   (188 days at full power)

van den Berg Manufacturing Catapult Box Launcher (1300)    Missile Size 6    Hangar Reload 45 minutes    MF Reload 7.5 hours
Manfrin Engineering Long Range Missile Fire Control (13)     Range 1 115.4m km    Resolution 15
Ballista III (1300)  Speed: 72 400 km/s   End: 122m    Range: 529.8m km   WH: 15    Size: 6    TH: 241/144/72

Manfrin Engineering Long Range Active Search Sensor (1)     GPS 13500     Range 1 115.4m km    Resolution 15
Corona-Mesa Cybernetics Thermal Sensor (1)     Sensitivity 192     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  192m km
Corona-Mesa Cybernetics EM Detection Sensor (1)     Sensitivity 192     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  192m km

ECCM-5 (13)         ECM 50

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

   As the design focused the public opinion on naval matters, the officers used this to push some changes through. One of those was creation of new variant of the Cronus class cruiser. While the design is considered solid, new capacitors, laser wavelengths, fire controls, sensors and armour will make the new ship substantially better in almost every area. In fact the vessel now had so much reach the older anti-missiles couldn't use all of it requiring a new design which also incorporated newest manoeuvrability improvements.
   Unfortunately the number of small upgrades was so great that refit costs would be too high. As such despite having essentially the same hull and armament that was merely upgraded rather than changed, the new version will have to be considered a completely new design named Essex.

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Essex class Cruiser    37 500 tons     1016 Crew     12703 BP      TCS 750  TH 4320  EM 0
5760 km/s     Armour 12-99     Shields 0-0     Sensors 96/96/0/0     Damage Control Rating 28     PPV 283.84
Maint Life 2.88 Years     MSP 5928    AFR 401%    IFR 5.6%    1YR 1050    5YR 15756    Max Repair 648 MSP
Intended Deployment Time: 24 months    Spare Berths 1   
Magazine 1860   

Robinson & Dean Inertial Fusion Drive (3)    Power 1440    Fuel Use 9.6%    Signature 1440    Exp 9%
Fuel Capacity 1 500 000 Litres    Range 75.0 billion km   (150 days at full power)

Lamy Heavy Industries 380mm Spinal Mounted Laser (1)    Range 600 000km     TS: 10000 km/s     Power 38-10     RM 6    ROF 20        38 38 38 38 38 38 32 28 25 22
Lamy Heavy Industries 250mm Laser (2)    Range 600 000km     TS: 10000 km/s     Power 16-10     RM 6    ROF 10        16 16 16 16 16 16 13 12 10 9
Quad D Agostino-Petrella Gauss Cannon Turret Mk2 (6x20)    Range 40 000km     TS: 40000 km/s     Power 0-0     RM 4    ROF 5        1 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0
Beaupre Limited Point Defence Fire Control (6)    Max Range: 150 000 km   TS: 40000 km/s     93 87 80 73 67 60 53 47 40 33
Beaupre Limited Laser Fire Control (1)    Max Range: 600 000 km   TS: 10000 km/s     98 97 95 93 92 90 88 87 85 83
Carriere Manufacturing Solid-core AM Reactor (2)     Total Power Output 32    Armour 0    Exp 5%

Hanson Corporation Advanced Anti-Missile Launcher (60)    Missile Size 1    Rate of Fire 5
Pacetti-Schiavone Anti-Missile Fire Control (6)     Range 115.2m km    Resolution 1
Interceptor V (1860)  Speed: 115 200 km/s   End: 1.7m    Range: 11.5m km   WH: 1    Size: 1    TH: 1728/1036/518

Pacetti-Schiavone Missile Detection System (1)     GPS 360     Range 115.2m km    MCR 12.5m km    Resolution 1
Pearson & Brady Small Thermal Sensor (1)     Sensitivity 96     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  96m km
Pearson & Brady Small EM Detection Sensor (1)     Sensitivity 96     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  96m km

ECCM-5 (5)         ECM 50

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

   Another victory came in the form of preserving the older ships. By now eighty one cruisers are either in service or under construction which means five can be assigned to each battlegroup. Due to this the government was seriously considering retiring the older ships but now they will remain in service on the assumption it's better to have more warships than less warships even if some of those are now old enough to be almost obsolescent, especially the Flowers.
   Better yet the Navy was finally allowed to utilise Beyince Heavy Construction shipyard. The smallest of the three yards in service, it comprises only three slipways each of twelve thousand and five hundred tonnes of capacity and was used to support smaller vessels like the Rome class destroyers or the Galileo class exploration ships, but was laying idle for some time now as the Cronus class was fulfilling all escort needs in one package. However as the battleships have no secondary weapons of any kind the officers were very worried about their ability to fight an engagement in energy weapon range as the cruisers had only three lasers each resulting in the development of the new Madrid class destroyer.
   There was some talk about simply resuming construction of Lancelots, but the idea was discarded. Aside from the fact their lasers are by now obsolete, those ships were specifically designed to deal with very fast enemies and scarified much to accomplish that. What the Navy wanted was a ship designed more towards being part of a battlegroup, resulting in a destroyer that was slower but much more heavily armed.

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Madrid class Destroyer    12 500 tons     478 Crew     7069 BP      TCS 250  TH 1760  EM 0
7040 km/s     Armour 12-47     Shields 0-0     Sensors 96/96/0/0     Damage Control Rating 10     PPV 92
Maint Life 3.73 Years     MSP 3534    AFR 125%    IFR 1.7%    1YR 396    5YR 5940    Max Repair 880 MSP
Intended Deployment Time: 24 months    Spare Berths 0   

Marsh-Fletcher Destroyer Inertial Fusion Drive (1)    Power 1760    Fuel Use 15.86%    Signature 1760    Exp 11%
Fuel Capacity 800 000 Litres    Range 72.6 billion km   (119 days at full power)

Lamy Heavy Industries 380mm Spinal Mounted Laser (1)    Range 600 000km     TS: 10000 km/s     Power 38-10     RM 6    ROF 20        38 38 38 38 38 38 32 28 25 22
Lamy Heavy Industries 250mm Laser (10)    Range 600 000km     TS: 10000 km/s     Power 16-10     RM 6    ROF 10        16 16 16 16 16 16 13 12 10 9
Beaupre Limited Laser Fire Control (3)    Max Range: 600 000 km   TS: 10000 km/s     98 97 95 93 92 90 88 87 85 83
Carriere Manufacturing Solid-core AM Reactor (7)     Total Power Output 112    Armour 0    Exp 5%

van der Hoeven-Heerma Small Active Search Sensor (1)     GPS 21600     Range 631.0m km    Resolution 120
Pearson & Brady Small Thermal Sensor (1)     Sensitivity 96     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  96m km
Pearson & Brady Small EM Detection Sensor (1)     Sensitivity 96     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  96m km

ECCM-5 (3)         ECM 50

This design is classed as a Military Vessel for maintenance purposes

   There was however one issue the Navy was unable to resolve due to the government. As they finalised the design of their new anti-missile they realised it would have seventy five percent interception chance against their own shipkillers. As a result they wanted to being a process of completely redesigning their ammunition but as it was pointed out to them, the primary concern of the humanity were the Destroyers and they would likely have even better interception chances no matter what the Navy did. For that matter it was always true. The Federal missiles were after all never designed to evade interception. They were designed to be carried in worthwhile numbers, be long ranged enough to offset the alien superiority in speed and have good enough warheads to actually deal with the enemy.
   The Navy tries to protest that new threats have emerged, but the government remains deaf to their arguments. The ADS and the Spectres are essentially a non-issue by this point, the Travellers appear to be confined to the Commune space, the Kingdom is no more and the Hegemony and the Kinharans are very far away. As such Phoenix will remain focused on the Destroyers.

5th May 2410

   The Commune completes their construction programme of the new gunboat types. They now have thirty five flotillas of Piranhas, twenty nine flotillas of Sharks, twenty flotillas of Stingrays and twenty flotillas of Hammerheads. As production of larger warships is essentially on hold while refits continue, no more gunboats will be produced for now as the government and the Force continue to prefer a balanced navy and for them there is no point having more gunboats if those cannot be properly supported.
   Of course due to the need for training it will be some time before all of the new formations are truly combat ready.

8th June 2410

   The Hegemony has finalised its design of a three hundred thousand tonne jump battleship which will lead the carriers on the planned assault on the Confederation. There was a significant divide over the direction that should be taken with the ship, but ultimately the faction that wanted it to merely protect the carriers won. This means the ship has no offensive capability whatsoever.
   This of course has allowed the designers to put truly monstrous defences on the ship. The X-248 Dauntless has armour only as thick as the Lindos class jump cruiser and no CIWS stations but it also has enough gauss cannons to intercept six hundred missiles and carries four thousand Patriots in a single shot launchers. This by itself should be more than enough defensive fire to deal with the salvo the Valiant faced during the First Battle of Albuquerque.
   The defensive fire will of course not work without sensors but when all is said and done the designers saw no way to deal with that issue. As they pointed out, the carrier group will either appear too close or far enough and that's it. If they emerge too close to the enemy increasing protection of the battleship is pointless as the vessel has no value of its own and in such a case nothing could be done to protect the other ships, no matter the armament or design. On the other hand if the group is lucky enough to emerge far enough the anti-missiles in single shot launchers will allow the battleship to actually use its ammunition while normal, repeatable launchers would simply not have enough time to put enough Patriots into space to matter. And once the initial enemy fire is dealt with the gauss cannons, working in tandem with CIWS stations on individual carriers, will be able to intercept up to eight hundred missiles, more than enough to deal with any follow up fire or anti-missiles in offensive mode.
   Another potential issue of the design was the jump drive itself, for while it was designed for largest possible emergence distance it could escort only four other ships. This was done to keep the price and size down as it would be enough to move all existing Invincibles through the jump point.
   Overall most people agree the Dauntless will either work extremely well or not at all but they also agree it has less to do with the design itself and more with the realities of jump point assaults. One is certain to be built although many argue two or maybe even three should be launched to either allow more carriers to partake in the assaults or to have a ship in reserve just in case.

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X-248 Dauntless class Jump Battleship    300 000 tons     8124 Crew     103839 BP      TCS 6000  TH 48000  EM 0
8000 km/s    JR 5-1500     Armour 30-399     Shields 0-0     Sensors 144/144/0/0     Damage Control Rating 687     PPV 1593.6
Maint Life 3.13 Years     MSP 148639    AFR 1047%    IFR 14.6%    1YR 22803    5YR 342045    Max Repair 26870 MSP
Intended Deployment Time: 12 months    Spare Berths 0   
Magazine 4000   

Hong-Mao Heavy Industries Carrier Military Jump Drive     Max Ship Size 300000 tons    Distance 1500k km     Squadron Size 5
Marlin -Kibaki Naval Inertial Fusion Drive (30)    Power 1600    Fuel Use 20%    Signature 1600    Exp 10%
Fuel Capacity 25 250 000 Litres    Range 75.8 billion km   (109 days at full power)

Twin Luseno-Nderitu Gauss Cannon Turret (60x10)    Range 40 000km     TS: 40000 km/s     Power 0-0     RM 4    ROF 5        1 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0
Busch Design Bureau Point Defence Fire Control (20)    Max Range: 96 000 km   TS: 40000 km/s     90 79 69 58 48 38 27 17 6 0

Rissler-Mille Anti-Missile Cell (4000)    Missile Size 1    Hangar Reload 7.5 minutes    MF Reload 1.2 hours
Buckwalter-Donath Anti-Missile Fire Control (40)     Range 77.8m km    Resolution 1
Patriot E (4000)  Speed: 124 800 km/s   End: 1.3m    Range: 10.1m km   WH: 1    Size: 1    TH: 1622/973/486

Zou Manufacturing Long Range Missile Detection System (1)     GPS 576     Range 103.7m km    MCR 11.3m km    Resolution 1
Angre International Battle Management System Mk3 (1)     GPS 24000     Range 1 366.1m km    Resolution 10
Chen Systems Medium Thermal Sensor (1)     Sensitivity 144     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  144m km
Chen Systems Medium EM Detection Sensor (1)     Sensitivity 144     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  144m 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

10th August 2410

   The fighter group for the recently launched Indefatigable has been assembled which means all Hegemony carriers now have full complements. As the Manner-Mccalla Space Services yard will be busy building at least one jump battleship – which won't even be laid down until December due to retooling – there is an opportunity to replace the older Eagles with Harriers.
   However as doing so would require the groups to retrain in order to properly bring up new fighters up to speed, the government is somewhat unwilling to do so as they are at war and even though the attack on the enemy is still far away, the Confederation may launch their own offensive. As such, while they do authorise the upgrade, they do so for the smallest carriers first as their retreat to safe areas for exercises will have the least impact on the ongoing operations.

5th October 2410

   The Kensington Naval Base can now support all the Hegemony warships with the exception of the Invincible class carriers. The colony itself, home to over forty million people, continues to grow and there are already factories present, manufacturing more maintenance supplies. Automated mines are also en route to the system and while Pensacola has nothing worth mining for industrial purposes there is more than enough mineral wealth to support the ongoing maintenance of warships.
   As the naval base is supposed to be temporary, exiting only until the Confederation has been dealt with, many are uncertain such a level of development is necessary as this is the largest scale colonisation and industrialisation of a star system since Delawere and Pulaski, both of which were strategically important mining locations, necessary for the continued growth of the national industry and navy. However as there is no way to know how large the enemy territory is and it is very unlikely the aliens have any bases large enough to support the carriers in their territory, Kensington will very likely be the heart of any offensive operations, which may take years even after the Kinharan blockade of the Amarillo jump point is dealt with. As such while it is certainly a significant investment for a temporary installation, it is considered a necessary one.
   With the base done it will no longer be necessary to replace the carriers at the front. The Vengeance is the first one sent for overhaul and shore leave leaving Valiant, Vanguard and Dragon at the jump point. To support those, the government sends Defiant as well and from now on four of the five groups will be guarding the jump point while the fifth will be undergoing overhaul.

16th May 2411

   The Commune has completed their development of various jump drive improvements allowing them to design new ships to lead their formations. The first of those, and representing the most drastic change from the previous classes, is the Tortola III.
   Due to the limitations of jump drives and the size of the frigate and destroyer formations, the previous destroyer leaders were supposed to provide long range sensor coverage and a jump drive capable of transporting other ships through secured jump point without jump gate, but those were never designed to allow an actual assault. While the new vessel is still incapable of transporting an entire formation by itself the jump drive can now transport up to six additional ships and emerge up to two million kilometres from the jump point while being only slightly larger than the device used previously, allowing cheap upgrade. As destroyer squadrons contain four attack ships and the frigate squadrons contain six, this means Tortola III can lead a jump point assault while leaving behind vessels unsuited for that kind of battle, which will significantly improve the Force capabilities in that area.

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Tortola III class Destroyer Leader    15 000 tons     413 Crew     7770.8 BP      TCS 300  TH 4140  EM 0
13800 km/s    JR 7-2000     Armour 10-54     Shields 0-0     Sensors 320/400/0/0     Damage Control Rating 15     PPV 24
Maint Life 4.26 Years     MSP 4857    AFR 120%    IFR 1.7%    1YR 430    5YR 6451    Max Repair 1163 MSP
Intended Deployment Time: 36 months    Spare Berths 0   

Bravo Orbital Systems Destroyer Rated Jump Drive     Max Ship Size 15300 tons    Distance 2000k km     Squadron Size 7
Tugurlan Marine High Power Naval SCAM Drive Mk2 (6)    Power 690    Fuel Use 24.11%    Signature 690    Exp 11%
Fuel Capacity 1 800 000 Litres    Range 89.6 billion km   (75 days at full power)

Montemayor Cybernetics Advanced 750mm Laser (1)    Range 800 000km     TS: 13800 km/s     Power 147-12     RM 8    ROF 65        147 147 147 147 147 147 147 147 130 117
Jasso-Ibarra Long Range Beam Fire Control (1)    Max Range: 800 000 km   TS: 18750 km/s     99 98 96 95 94 92 91 90 89 88
Janiec Aircraft Engine Co SCAM Reactor (1)     Total Power Output 16    Armour 0    Exp 5%

Goransson-Nilsson Missile Detection System (1)     GPS 380     Range 152.0m km    MCR 16.6m km    Resolution 1
Gilca-Grul Wide Area Active Search Sensor  (1)     GPS 8000     Range 1 011.9m km    Resolution 10
Sudiro Electronics Industries Large Thermal Sensor (1)     Sensitivity 320     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  320m km
Sudiro Electronics Industries Large EM Detection Sensor (1)     Sensitivity 400     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  400m km

Compact ECCM-5 (1)         ECM 50

This design is classed as a Military Vessel for maintenance purposes

   The Mandrake II is a very straightforward upgrade, replacing the older jump drive with a new one capable of moving a total of ten ships through a jump point and emerging up two to million kilometres away. Accommodating it required only a slight adjustment of armour, engineering spaces and fuel storage, making the vessel essentially identical to its predecessor. As no Mandrakes have been built so far, refits are not an issue. This of course means future battlecruiser formations will consist of four attack ships and five escorts instead three battlecruisers and four escort cruisers as was the case until now.

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Mandrake II class Jump Battlecruiser    45 000 tons     1058 Crew     16239 BP      TCS 900  TH 12420  EM 15000
13800 km/s    JR 10-2000     Armour 19-112     Shields 500-300     Sensors 320/400/0/0     Damage Control Rating 49     PPV 0
Maint Life 2.6 Years     MSP 11051    AFR 330%    IFR 4.6%    1YR 2302    5YR 34531    Max Repair 2532 MSP
Intended Deployment Time: 36 months    Spare Berths 1   

Bravo Orbital Systems Battlecruiser Jump Drive     Max Ship Size 45000 tons    Distance 2000k km     Squadron Size 10
Tugurlan Marine High Power Naval SCAM Drive Mk2 (18)    Power 690    Fuel Use 24.11%    Signature 690    Exp 11%
Fuel Capacity 4 500 000 Litres    Range 74.7 billion km   (62 days at full power)
Xi Shields (100)   Total Fuel Cost  1 000 Litres per hour  (24 000 per day)

Gilca-Grul Wide Area Active Search Sensor  (1)     GPS 8000     Range 1 011.9m km    Resolution 10
Sudiro Electronics Industries Large Thermal Sensor (1)     Sensitivity 320     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  320m km
Sudiro Electronics Industries Large EM Detection Sensor (1)     Sensitivity 400     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  400m km

ECM 50

This design is classed as a Military Vessel for maintenance purposes

   The Elegast class jump cruiser is a new design but is in essence a smaller version of the Mandrake II with very similar sensor suite, a single laser for emergencies and a jump drive that can support nine other warships. In the future, the new cruiser divisions will contain a single Elegast and nine Krakens. However a there are still Apollo class jump cruisers without an assignment it will be some time before the first Elegasts enter service.    

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Elegast class Jump Cruiser    25 000 tons     663 Crew     10917.6 BP      TCS 500  TH 6900  EM 0
13800 km/s    JR 10-2000     Armour 16-76     Shields 0-0     Sensors 320/400/0/0     Damage Control Rating 28     PPV 24
Maint Life 3.72 Years     MSP 7506    AFR 181%    IFR 2.5%    1YR 847    5YR 12705    Max Repair 1163 MSP
Intended Deployment Time: 36 months    Spare Berths 0   

Bravo Orbital Systems Cruiser Rated Jump Drive     Max Ship Size 25200 tons    Distance 2000k km     Squadron Size 10
Tugurlan Marine High Power Naval SCAM Drive Mk2 (10)    Power 690    Fuel Use 24.11%    Signature 690    Exp 11%
Fuel Capacity 2 500 000 Litres    Range 74.7 billion km   (62 days at full power)

Montemayor Cybernetics Advanced 750mm Laser (1)    Range 800 000km     TS: 13800 km/s     Power 147-12     RM 8    ROF 65        147 147 147 147 147 147 147 147 130 117
Jasso-Ibarra Long Range Beam Fire Control (1)    Max Range: 800 000 km   TS: 18750 km/s     99 98 96 95 94 92 91 90 89 88
Janiec Aircraft Engine Co SCAM Reactor (1)     Total Power Output 16    Armour 0    Exp 5%

Goransson-Nilsson Missile Detection System (1)     GPS 380     Range 152.0m km    MCR 16.6m km    Resolution 1
Gilca-Grul Wide Area Active Search Sensor  (1)     GPS 8000     Range 1 011.9m km    Resolution 10
Sudiro Electronics Industries Large Thermal Sensor (1)     Sensitivity 320     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  320m km
Sudiro Electronics Industries Large EM Detection Sensor (1)     Sensitivity 400     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  400m km

ECM 60

This design is classed as a Military Vessel for maintenance purposes

12th June 2411

   A powerful Traveller fleet appears in the Dunkirk system comprising ten destroyers equipped with anti-missiles, twelve cruisers equipped with point defence lasers, fifteen previously unseen battlecruisers and four battleships believed to carry short range energy weapons.
   The Eight Fleet defending the system and commanded by Vice Admiral Nuri Mikola is somewhat smaller than the Seventh Fleet in Rampart but is also the most modern Commune formation led by three divisions of the Kraken II cruisers and also comprising two divisions of battlecruisers of older, but recently refitted types, two squadrons of newest destroyers and another of frigates and supported by four flotillas of Stingrays.
   While the fleet is certainly impressive, the problem lies with the Trots colony itself. Due to the enormous distances there simply was no time to establish proper defences. The planet has population of only eight million and the first planetary missile base is still under construction. Fortunately supporting space stations are in place and ten of the newest orbital weapon platforms equipped with gauss cannons are also present, but the fuel and missile stockpiles available are somewhat limited.
   As those ten platforms provide additional a hundred and twenty gauss cannon turrets Mikola intends to stay close to the planet.
   Nearly three hours later the aliens stopped a little over four hundred million kilometres from the planet. That was good news for the humans as it meant the Travellers intended to use only their shipkillers rather than mixed salvoes as their anti-missiles were shown to have range of around a hundred and seventy million kilometres. And assuming only the fifteen unknown battlecruisers had missiles, the incoming salvoes were likely to be small enough to be dealt with by gauss cannons alone.
   An hour later the Commune sensor detect twenty seven hundred incoming missiles, a lot more than the Admiral expected. She quickly does some calculations. Between her orbital bases and ships she had a total of two hundred and thirty six gauss cannons which thanks to the recent upgrades should be able to intercept between nine hundred and fourteen hundred missiles which while impressive, was far too inadequate. As such she orders the use of anti-missiles.
   As her ships begin to fire she tries to analyse the situation, for the enemy launched far too many shipkillers. She double checked the enemy composition, but there were no surprises there. It was possible the aliens were using box launchers, like the humans were, but if that was the case the salvo was actually on the small size. It was also unlikely the aliens were using fighters, as the powerful Commune sensors should have detected them.
   The salvo accomplished nothing, being stopped well short of Trots. However a couple of minutes later another, equally massive salvo appeared on sensors.
   Mikola begun thinking furiously. After a minute she finally concluded the aliens must have compromised, knowing normally they would be unable to get through Commune defences and begun using miniaturised, repeatable launchers with much longer loading times.
   Her problem was ammunition. She was using over three thousand anti-missiles to stop each salvo and she had a total of twenty four thousand to begin with. To try and lower her expenditure she decides to use only some of her ships for defence at any given time, hopefully reducing the incoming enemy waves to something her gauss cannons can handle while conserving some of her interceptors for later use.
   The plan worked perfectly at first and the third salvo has done no damage but the fourth one got some good hits destroying one of the orbital weapon platforms, the corvette Luhumuka and heavily damaging eight more ships. She could not take that kind of exchange, so she begun adjusting her point defence but she still intended to try and conserve her interceptors.
   This helped and for a time the fleet was holding its own but by the ninth salvo it was running low on ammunition and more enemy missiles managed to slip by destroying another seven orbital bases, the frigates Guaynabo, Rosario, Campinas and a single Stingray class gunboat while damaging three more ships. In desperation, against the tenth salvo, still comprising twenty seven hundred shipkillers, she authorised the use of anti-missiles stored in single shot box launchers on her corvettes and some of her frigates.
   That turned out to be not enough and several more ships including one of the cruisers have been destroyed, while leaving the rest of the Eight Fleet with widespread damage and without interceptors to deal with the eleventh salvo. Fortunately the twelfth salvo was much smaller indicating the aliens may have run out of missiles.
   By the time the enemy attack ceased the entire fleet has been ravaged. Vice Admiral Nuri Mikola was dead together with her flagship, the jump cruiser Ananke. Overall the Eight Fleet lost a battlecruiser, six cruisers, twenty two destroyers, frigates and corvettes as well as forty two gunboats – out of sixty eight – and all ten orbital weapons platforms.
   The senior remaining officer in the system was Rear Admiral Herman Szymkowiak commanding the Second Battlecruiser Division and previously third most senior officer. And while the bulk of his fleet survived he knew he was in trouble for twenty seven of his ships had internal damage with many vessels out of formation.
   His first order of business was to reorganise his forces. Thanks to the survival of all eight Shonbrunn class escort cruises and their gauss cannons he should be able to withstand the enemy anti-missile fire in offensive mode and after ordering every ship faster than the Travellers back into position he begun feeling a little better as ship after ship retook its place in formation. In the end only the cruiser Kelpie, the destroyers Weohstan and Lanzarote and the frigate Yamanaka, were truly too slow to outrun the aliens while the cruisers Levellan and Jengu, as well as the corvette Atbarah were only a single engine shy of that. The rest of his fleet was slowed down to twelve thousand kilometres per second, but that should be enough.
   As the aliens begun closing on Trots once again, he decided to wait in orbit for now. It was very unlikely he would be able to strike and re-arm so he had to plan with the assumption he could use his missile cells only once. As the aliens were out of long range firepower and he should have enough point defence to deal with anti-missiles in offensive mode, he intended to fire at very close range to better get through point defence. As such there was no point going out to meet the enemy, giving him time for repairs.
   To help with the coming battle he begun loading his escort cruisers with Needles. He didn't know if he could get past last ditch point defence with only two hundred and fifty six launchers, but he needed any edge he could get. He didn't have nearly enough to fill the magazines up but that was still four thousand additional missiles.

13th June 2411

   As the Travellers closed to twenty million kilometres Szymkowiak knew he could wait no more. Fortunately the ten frenzied hours of repairs had made significant difference. Twelve of his ships managed to repair all of their internal damage, although their armour still had holes, and three ships managed to return to formation. Of particular note was the cruiser Kelpie, which despite heavy damage repaired several engines and a couple of other subsystems making it ready to fight despite being by all rights a wreck. For that matter the frigate Yamanaka was also faster than the enemy, but by only three hundred kilometres per second, so she will stay behind. Even without her the human force will be held down to only eleven thousand kilometres per second due to their damages.
   As the humans begun closing it become clear the aliens did not intend to use anti-missiles in offensive mode. It could be because they realised what the Commune intended or the Eight Fleet could have misidentified the destroyers. However it didn't matter in the end for there was no choice but to close in.
   As the enemy cruisers appear to be using lasers for point defence, which will be longer ranged and more powerful than the human gauss cannons, he cannot close all the way in, so he plans to fight four hundred thousand kilometres away. Before that however, as he closed to one million kilometres of the Travellers, he unleashed all his missiles.
   As over twelve hundred Needles, nearly a thousand Jevelins and nearly twelve hundred Hydras race towards the enemy, the three heavily depleted gunboat flotillas head back towards Trots as there was no point in risking them.
   All that ordnance was focused on the laser armed warships, destroying all the cruisers and two battleships which die soon after thanks to repeated laser strikes.
   After that the battle turned into a massacre. The alien anti-missiles in offensive mode were too few to do anything and due to their very specialised design, there were no secondary weapons on any of the remaining ships. The Commune vessels, fast enough to avoid enemy ramming attempts, closed so much they could use their own point defence guns and killed the remaining Traveller ships one by one.
   With that done the Eight Fleet set course back for Ttrots where they will resume their defence of the system. Fortunately no people died during the final exchange and all rescue operations from the initial attack were completed during the ten hours between fights. In total eight thousand six hundred and sixty three people died while five hundred and seventy seven had been injured.

15th June 2411

   Due to the time lags it took a couple of days for the Commune capital to hear about the battle and to digest the incoming information. One thing is certain however – the Eight Fleet has effectively ceased to be an effective fighting force. One gunboat flotilla was destroyed outright and the remaining three formations don't even have enough ships for two full flotillas, the single frigate squadron was reduced to mere two ships and the two destroyer squadrons have lost effectively all their escorts although the attack ships themselves are fortunately intact.
   The larger ships fared batter but not by much. All of the remaining Krakens are damaged to greater or lesser extent and will require repairs, to say nothing about the fact that two divisions don't have a jump ship with them any more. Between the time necessary for repairs, replacements and training those three formations will be out of fight for well over a year. The First Battlecruiser Division will also have to be recalled as it lost a ship and the command ship Odin has very slight armour damage that nonetheless requires repairs. Only the Second Battlecruiser Division managed to avoid any damage and will remain in the system, together with the Two Hundred and Second Gunboat Flotilla which will be reinforced by survivors from her sister formations. This also means two full flotillas will have to be re-formed from scratch, not counting the reinforcements for the third.
   Overall the loses were even worse than those suffered at the hand of the Destroyer in Peter's Crossing or those inflicted by the Hegemony in ES – 09, making them the worst in the history of the nation.
   All of the above means new formations will have to be transferred to Dunkirk a problem made worse by the ongoing refits and the recent reinforcing of many other fleets. Either those will have to be pulled out again or the Home Fleet will have to be significantly reduced. In the end and after rather heated discussion, the letter is chosen. As a result the majority of Task Force 102 orbiting Mjolnir and serving as a ready reserve to the rest of the Force, will be sent to Dunkirk. A total of four cruiser divisions, three destroyer squadrons and six additional flotillas of Stingrays will be sent. That of course does not count new orbital weapons platforms which will also be delivered to the colony.
   Another step taken by the government will be to prioritise replacing loses over refits. In the case of the cruiser divisions that means little, as the existing formations will be brought up to strength by three Krakens, one Sleipnir and two Apollos which were ready in orbit of Biskupin awaiting an assignment. But in the case of the destroyer and frigate squadrons this means new ships will have to be laid down.
   Another thing the government had to deal with was a scathing letter by Rear Admiral Szymkowiak who inherited the Eight Fleet after the death of Nuri Mikola and who will remain in the system, as his formation was undamaged. While some are very annoyed by his tone, especially since he never presented his ideas before, everyone had agree he had a point – the Commune was still far too complacent, believing in their own invincibility thanks to their long tradition of victory.
   What he specifically referred to was the fact that the Trots colony still didn't have any ground bases. While this time the government, both the supreme and the local one, did not make the mistake of starting with terraforming installations and have done all they could to expedite matters, it has been over three years since the anomaly in the system has been found. To put it simply it is no longer just a matter of colonial priorities, the very system of establishing new bases will have to be changed.
   What Szymkowiak proposes is to prefabricate a number of Palmanova class bases and keep a freighter group in orbit ready to instantly deploy the components, minerals and tracking stations to wherever those are needed. Of course the bases will have to be assembled, which is why an engineering group should also stand ready. This way bases could be readied before first civilians even step on the planet.
   The plan will require considerable resources, especially in the form of freighters which are always in short supply, but the Committee agrees readily, knowing they almost lost eight million people.
   Overall despite the heavy loses, there is a certain elation at having dodged the bullet but while no one expects another Travellers attack any time soon, at least if they continue to follow their patterns, everyone knows the next invasion will likely be even more powerful and has to be prepared against.
 
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Offline Andrew

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Re: From the Ashes - part 30
« Reply #1 on: March 30, 2017, 08:27:30 AM »
Are you running the traveller fleet's yourself? The tactics they have employed seem rather more flexible and innovative than those I have seen from the AI, In particular I have never had them refrain from using AMM in offensive mode even when doing so left them wide open to my missile strike which due to ECM had a shorter range than their AMM's in offensive mode
 

Offline Haji

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Re: From the Ashes - part 30
« Reply #2 on: March 30, 2017, 12:16:05 PM »
Warning, I will be talking about one of the spoiler races without using any spoiler tags. That's because if you read my campaign you know basically all there is to know about all three of them.

As far as the Travellers go I kind of control them. If you haven't realised those are the Invaders with all the associated mechanics and the early fights were indeed fought against them under AI control. However I run into two problems. First and the greatest is that this version of Aurora has a bug (that I think was corrected in later versions) which makes certain sensor combination end up with an error message popping up when certain Invader vessels appear. It may not sound like much but it means the maximum increment is reduced to 1 minute and I can't run auto-turns because I need to acknowledge the message after every single increment. This makes fights against some Invader fleets essentially unplayable.

The second reason I begun using player controlled fleet masquerading as the Invaders is that my nations were far too powerful and the enemy was arriving in too small numbers to pose any threat which would essentially lead to a dozen short messages like "X enemy Traveller vessels appeared and were easily destroyed by 30 Commune cruisers stationed in the system". That's not very interesting.

What is essentially happening is that the Invaders are still on and the AI decides what to do with wormholes. Small fleets appear all the time but I don't even report them any more as there is no point. Once a large fleet appears (7-9 vessels) than I delete it and put my own, so the AI kind of also decides on the timing of the attacks. I say kind of because if I think things get stale I may throw a fleet at the Commune just to get something interesting to write about other than how the various nations are preparing for the Next Fight. That was actually the case here.

Of course since I'm actually controlling the Travellers there are quite few interesting things I could do with them and I'm considering just that.
 

Offline Graham

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Re: From the Ashes - part 30
« Reply #3 on: March 30, 2017, 06:45:33 PM »
Excellent read as usual.
 
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Offline TCD

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Re: From the Ashes - part 30
« Reply #4 on: March 31, 2017, 08:33:16 AM »
Yes, excellent read indeed! I really don't know how you mange to play all of these huge empires at the same time. It must be a nightmare to manage.
 
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Offline Andrew

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Re: From the Ashes - part 30
« Reply #5 on: March 31, 2017, 02:20:21 PM »
It is possible to get Invader fleets of the size you are dealing with, I got one because multiple waves of invaders moved to one planet and just hung around there without doing anything else such as going next door and exterminating earth. I only beat them with a big fleet and poor AI tactics, it fired all it's amm's before I fired my missiles so I could kill all the beam armed ships with my missiles and then kill the missile armed ships with beams while they rammed. My tech was a lot lower than yours so I would imagine they would be no threat without you taking control of them
 

Offline Haji

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Re: From the Ashes - part 30
« Reply #6 on: April 04, 2017, 08:31:07 PM »
It is possible to get Invader fleets of the size you are dealing with

I guess I got unlucky then :( although due to the sensor bug I mentioned I'm not sure I would have been able to actually get a fight anyway.

Yes, excellent read indeed! I really don't know how you mange to play all of these huge empires at the same time. It must be a nightmare to manage.

It is not exactly a nightmare, but only because I don't really manage to keep the empires truly straight. There's a lot of screw-ups under the hood I don't mention or flat out fix with the SM mode. For example I mentioned in one of the updates that the Commune has some gallicite issues, it's eating a lot of their industry (for automated mines) and shipping, but nothing serious. In fact because I have so many industrial sites I haven't realised just how much I expanded and ended up way short of what I needed, forcing me to keep SMing hundreds of thousand of tonnes of gallicite per year while trying to fix that. I mean I could go ahead and turn that into something to write about, but I'd have very hard time explaining how a superintelligent AI running the nation haven't seen it coming.

All the same, small hiccups notwithstanding, I'm quite happy how the campaign is going. Yes, there are certainly issues, but as a story it seems to be progressing quite well.
 

Offline Andrew

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Re: From the Ashes - part 30
« Reply #7 on: April 05, 2017, 03:47:10 PM »
I think I only got that Invader fleet by a bug, it built up from smaller fleets and then each of them took up orbit around a planet which was uninhabited and about which I could find nothing interesting , in the end there were 123 ships in total , they were throwing 511 antimissiles every  5 seconds and had a lot of lasers, I never found out how many as my missiles killed all the laser ships. I would not have beaten them if they had used better tactics such as firing AMM's at my missiles and not my ships, I think my missile salvo was probably on the order of 20,000 missiles and their AMM's cut have cut that back fairly quickly
 

Offline Michael Sandy

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Re: From the Ashes - part 30
« Reply #8 on: June 04, 2017, 02:23:41 AM »
So..., did you ever get the Jump Point Assault battle completed?
 

Offline HighTemplar

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Re: From the Ashes - part 30
« Reply #9 on: June 11, 2017, 07:47:24 PM »
Must be a big battle
 

Offline Haji

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Re: From the Ashes - part 30
« Reply #10 on: June 12, 2017, 02:41:57 AM »
My apologies. The battle itself has been over for quite a while but as it happened I had too much material for a single update and not enough for two - and as I absolutely hate combat in Aurora I had to take a break. I begun playing recently again so I should be posing a double update in the near future.
 

 

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