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Earth Alliance Updates Thread
« on: December 14, 2020, 11:21:06 AM »
The Earth Alliance was founded in 2085 by the countries of Australia, the United Kingdom, Canada, Ireland, The Netherlands, Japan, New Zealand, South Africa, and the United States in the devastating aftermath of World War III. Other nations joined over time until an effective world government was in place by 2150. A small scientific colony was founded on Mars in 2185, which led to the startling discovery of a crashed alien spacecraft buried beneath the shifting red sands. Eventual translation of the ship’s badly fragmented database suggested the existence of multiple alien races, several of which were hostile. Once the news leaked, public reaction was close to panic.

The Earth Alliance Central Government, more commonly referred to as EarthGov or Earth Central, created a new combined military organization known as EarthForce and devoted considerable resources to a military build-up. Sufficient technical information was recovered from the wreck to allow a breakthrough into Trans-Newtonian physics, which greatly increased Earth’s economic and military potential. In 2230, research into jump point theory was completed, which gave EarthForce the potential for interstellar travel.

The EarthForce Space Corps, usually referred to as ‘The Fleet’, comprised all space-going assets of EarthForce, while the EarthForce Marine Corps was responsible for all ground forces, including those used for boarding actions. Early in the history of the Fleet, there was heated debate about whether missiles or energy weapons should be the focus of warship and fighter design. Energy weapons did not require a logistical support network, with the exception of supplies to handle any maintenance failures, but were short-ranged. Missiles could strike at great distance, but could be intercepted by hostile point defence and were a limited resource requiring supporting production and logistics. Eventually the decision was made to concentrate solely on energy weapons in the short-term, albeit with the proviso that all ships should be able to defend themselves against an opponent armed with missiles. Missile development would follow in the longer-term.

The nomenclature of the Fleet evolved over time, with a growing tendency to name ships after figures from Greek mythology. This avoided any apparent favouritism to the founding countries of the Alliance. There were exceptions, such as the Omega class destroyer Roanoke, or the Hyperion class cruisers Clarkstown and Lexington, but in general EarthForce followed the unofficial naming convention.

By 2250, a considerable force had been assembled in Earth orbit. With the permission of EarthGov, Fleet Command gave the order to begin the exploration of the solar system.

Campaign Setup.
One player race with a population of two billion.
Five NPRs, between 25 and 75 light years.
All Spoilers active and NPRs can activate Spoilers.
Double Tech Points (to allow the wide variety of weapons)
Double Build Points
There are many different (and often conflicting) sources on Babylon 5, so I am using B5Wars as my primary guide for ship design. To incorporate all the different weapons, I have had to go big on ship design.


EarthForce Space Corps
Omega class Destroyer: Acheron, Agamemnon, Alexander, Apollo, Cerberus, Damocles, Orion, Roanoke
Hyperion class Cruiser: Aegean, Amundsen, Astraeus, Clarkstown, Hyperion, Lexington, Prometheus, Trafalgar
Hyperion - J class Cruiser: Helios, Selene
Artemis class Frigate: Aphrodite, Artemis, Hemera, Hestia, Mnemosyne, Nyx, Psyche, Themis
Artemis-J class Frigate: Cassandra, Cassiopeia
Icarus class Exploration Ship: Aeneas, Bellerophon, Daedalus, Icarus, Odysseus, Orpheus, Perseus, Theseus
Tethys class Police Cutter: Amalthea, Callisto, Deimos, Dione, Europa, Ganymede, Helene, Janus, Pandora, Phobos, Rhea, Tethys
4x Erebus class Troop Transport
4x Phoebe class Troop Transport
8x Invader class Breaching Pod
8x Kestrel-J class Shuttle
16x Kestrel class Shuttle
368x SF-1A Starfury class Fighter

Support Ships and Stations
4x Hermes class Jump Tender: 132k Capacity Commercial Jump Drive. 2288 km/s
4x Dionysus class Replenishment Ship: 10m Fuel, 10k MSP, 2475 km/s
4x Aether class Stabilisation Ship: Stabilisation Module, 1612 km/s
4x Hercules class Tug: 120k tons of Engines, 4827 km/s
10x Conestoga class Freighter: 25,000 Capacity, 2060 km/s.
10x Asimov class Colony Ship: 100,000 Berths. 2011 km/s
5x Gaia class Terraforming Station: 5x Terraforming Modules
5x Hephaestus class Orbital Mining Platform: 25x Mining Modules
5x Demeter class Fuel Harvesting Station: 50x Fuel Harvester Modules

Report on the Fleet – January 1st 2250
Eight Omega class destroyers provide the primary striking power of the Fleet. Each Omega is armed with six Feuerbach-Schmidt FS-25A Heavy Laser Cannons, six Archer-Komarov AK-25 Heavy Pulse Cannons and twelve Genda Armaments GA-4 Standard Particle Beams. Active defence is provided by six Interceptor turrets while the hull is protected by a substantial armour belt. The powerful strike group comprises thirty-six Starfury fighters, a breaching pod for boarding operations and two Kestrel class shuttles for reconnaissance, search and rescue operations and general duties.

Omega class Destroyer      78,125 tons       1,860 Crew       11,882.7 BP       TCS 1,562    TH 6,250    EM 0
4000 km/s      Armour 11-162       Shields 0-0       HTK 421      Sensors 18/18/0/0      DCR 70      PPV 277.92
Maint Life 2.17 Years     MSP 6,654    AFR 698%    IFR 9.7%    1YR 1,901    5YR 28,511    Max Repair 625 MSP
Hangar Deck Capacity 16,000 tons     
Captain    Control Rating 2   BRG   AUX   
Intended Deployment Time: 12 months    Flight Crew Berths 320    Morale Check Required   

Beigie-Bryant-1250 Particle Thrust Engine (5)    Power 6250    Fuel Use 22.14%    Signature 1250    Explosion 10%
Fuel Capacity 2,342,000 Litres    Range 24.4 billion km (70 days at full power)

Feuerbach-Schmidt FS-25A Heavy Laser Cannon (6)    Range 256,000km     TS: 4,000 km/s     Power 16-4    ROF 20       
Archer-Komarov AK-25 Heavy Pulse Cannon (6x4)    Range 250,000km     TS: 4,000 km/s     Power 15-5   ROF 15       
Genda Armaments GA-4 Standard Particle Beam (12)    Range 200,000km     TS: 4,000 km/s     Power 10-5    ROF 10       
Twin Interceptor Turret (6x8)    Range 30,000km     TS: 16000 km/s     Power 0-0     RM 30,000 km    ROF 5       
Douglas-Xavier DX-256 Tracking System (6)     Max Range: 256,000 km   TS: 4,000 km/s
Douglas-Xavier DX-64M Tracking System (2)     Max Range: 64,000 km   TS: 16,000 km/s
R-22 Gas-Cooled Fast Reactor (5)     Total Power Output 114    Exp 5%

Kentaro-Morgan KM-80 Active Sensor (1)     GPS 17280     Range 81.8m km    Resolution 120
Kentaro-Morgan KM-6M Active Sensor (1)     GPS 24     Range 6.8m km    MCR 609.3k km    Resolution 1
Kentaro-Morgan KM-24 Active Sensor (1)     GPS 1560     Range 24.3m km    Resolution 130
TH-18 Passive Sensor (1)     Sensitivity 18     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  33.5m km
EM-18 Passive Sensor (1)     Sensitivity 18     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  33.5m km

Strike Group
36x SA-1A Starfury Fighter   Speed: 10001 km/s    Size: 8
1x Invader Breaching Pod   Speed: 9004 km/s    Size: 19.99
2x Kestrel Shuttle   Speed: 4167 km/s    Size: 6

The Hyperion class Cruiser is sixty percent smaller than the Omega, yet is still a powerful combatant. The primary armament of four Feuerbach-Schmidt FS-25A Heavy Laser Cannon is supported by three particle beams, three medium pulse cannon and a pair of Maslov M-20 Medium Plasma Cannons. The Plasma Cannon is unique to the Hyperion and at close range is capable of generating greater damage output than the Heavy Laser Cannon. The Hyperion has four interceptor turrets, compared to six for the Omega, proving excellent missile defence for its size. The strike group comprises ten Starfuries and a shuttle. Eight Hyperions are in service.

Hyperion class Cruiser      31,250 tons       799 Crew       4,883.6 BP       TCS 625    TH 2,500    EM 0
4000 km/s      Armour 8-88       Shields 0-0       HTK 180      Sensors 12/12/0/0      DCR 27      PPV 148.28
Maint Life 2.14 Years     MSP 2,637    AFR 289%    IFR 4.0%    1YR 770    5YR 11,551    Max Repair 625 MSP
Hangar Deck Capacity 4,300 tons     
Captain    Control Rating 2   BRG   AUX   
Intended Deployment Time: 12 months    Flight Crew Berths 86    Morale Check Required   

Beigie-Bryant-1250 Particle Thrust Engine (2)    Power 2500    Fuel Use 22.14%    Signature 1250    Explosion 10%
Fuel Capacity 880,000 Litres    Range 22.9 billion km (66 days at full power)

Feuerbach-Schmidt FS-25A Heavy Laser Cannon (4)    Range 256,000km     TS: 4,000 km/s     Power 16-4    ROF 20       
Maslov M-20 Medium Plasma Cannon (2)    Range 100,000km     TS: 4,000 km/s     Power 10-5     ROF 10       
Genda Armaments GA-4 Standard Particle Beam (3)    Range 200,000km     TS: 4,000 km/s     Power 10-5    ROF 10       
Archer-Komarov AK-15 Medium Pulse Cannon (3x4)    Range 150,000km     TS: 4,000 km/s     Power 9-4.5    ROF 10       
Twin Interceptor Turret (4x8)    Range 30,000km     TS: 16000 km/s     Power 0-0     RM 30,000 km    ROF 5       
Douglas-Xavier DX-256 Tracking System (3)     Max Range: 256,000 km   TS: 4,000 km/s
Douglas-Xavier DX-64M Tracking System (2)     Max Range: 64,000 km   TS: 16,000 km/s
R-14 Gas-Cooled Fast Reactor (4)     Total Power Output 56.6    Exp 5%

Kentaro-Morgan KM-50 Active Sensor (1)     GPS 6480     Range 50.1m km    Resolution 120
Kentaro-Morgan KM-6M Active Sensor (1)     GPS 24     Range 6.8m km    MCR 609.3k km    Resolution 1
TH-12 Passive Sensor (1)     Sensitivity 12     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  27.4m km
EM-12 Passive Sensor (1)     Sensitivity 12     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  27.4m km

Strike Group
10x SF-1A Starfury Fighter   Speed: 10001 km/s    Size: 8
1x Kestrel Shuttle   Speed: 4167 km/s    Size: 6

The Hyperion-J is a modification of the Hyperion designated to incorporate the huge MJ-784 Military Jump Drive. In order to create space, the hangar deck has been removed, the armament substantially reduced, the armour thickness decreased by more than a third and the sensors replaced with less capable alternatives. The Hyperion-J still retains two heavy laser cannon, two medium pulse cannon and two interceptor turrets. In exchange for the significant reduction in tactical combat capability, the Hyperion-J provides great strategic flexibility. The jump drive is large enough to open a jump point for an Omega class destroyer.

Hyperion - J class Cruiser      31,250 tons       994 Crew       6,804.5 BP       TCS 625    TH 2,500    EM 0
4000 km/s    JR 3-50      Armour 5-88       Shields 0-0       HTK 186      Sensors 6/6/0/0      DCR 44      PPV 60.64
Maint Life 1.77 Years     MSP 6,021    AFR 177%    IFR 2.5%    1YR 2,373    5YR 35,592    Max Repair 3342 MSP
Captain    Control Rating 2   BRG   AUX   
Intended Deployment Time: 12 months    Morale Check Required   

MJ-784 Military Jump Drive     Max Ship Size 78400 tons    Distance 50k km     Squadron Size 3

Beigie-Bryant-1250 Particle Thrust Engine (2)    Power 2500    Fuel Use 22.14%    Signature 1250    Explosion 10%
Fuel Capacity 866,000 Litres    Range 22.5 billion km (65 days at full power)

Feuerbach-Schmidt FS-25A Heavy Laser Cannon (2)    Range 256,000km     TS: 4,000 km/s     Power 16-4    ROF 20       
Archer-Komarov AK-15 Medium Pulse Cannon (2x4)    Range 150,000km     TS: 4,000 km/s     Power 9-4.5    ROF 10       
Twin Interceptor Turret (2x8)    Range 30,000km     TS: 16000 km/s     Power 0-0     RM 30,000 km    ROF 5       
Douglas-Xavier DX-256 Tracking System (2)     Max Range: 256,000 km   TS: 4,000 km/s
Douglas-Xavier DX-64M Tracking System (1)     Max Range: 64,000 km   TS: 16,000 km/s
R-14 Gas-Cooled Fast Reactor (2)     Total Power Output 28.3    Exp 5%

Kentaro-Morgan KM-24 Active Sensor (1)     GPS 1560     Range 24.3m km    Resolution 130
Kentaro-Morgan KM-6M Active Sensor (1)     GPS 24     Range 6.8m km    MCR 609.3k km    Resolution 1
EM-6 Passive Sensor (1)     Sensitivity 6     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  19.4m km
TH-6 Passive Sensor (1)     Sensitivity 6     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  19.4m km

The Artemis class frigate is primarily intended as a fleet escort unit, providing defence against hostile light warships and missile attack. The offensive armament comprises four particle beams and six dual-use medium pulse cannon. Missile Defence is provided by two interceptor turrets, supported by the pulse cannon. Due to the flexibility of its armament, the Artemis can undertake independent missions where a capital ship is not required. Every Artemis is named after a female figure from Greek mythology. Eight are in service.

Artemis class Frigate      13,750 tons       423 Crew       2,489.8 BP       TCS 275    TH 1,100    EM 0
4000 km/s      Armour 6-51       Shields 0-0       HTK 91      Sensors 6/0/0/0      DCR 8      PPV 96.64
Maint Life 2.17 Years     MSP 905    AFR 189%    IFR 2.6%    1YR 257    5YR 3,854    Max Repair 275 MSP
Commander    Control Rating 1   BRG   
Intended Deployment Time: 12 months    Morale Check Required   

Beigie-Bryant-550 Particle Thrust Engine (2)    Power 1100    Fuel Use 33.37%    Signature 550    Explosion 10%
Fuel Capacity 591,000 Litres    Range 23.2 billion km (67 days at full power)

Genda Armaments GA-4 Standard Particle Beam (4)    Range 200,000km     TS: 4,000 km/s     Power 10-5    ROF 10       
Archer-Komarov AK-15 Medium Pulse Cannon (6x4)    Range 150,000km     TS: 4,000 km/s     Power 9-4.5    ROF 10       
Twin Interceptor Turret (2x8)    Range 30,000km     TS: 16000 km/s     Power 0-0     RM 30,000 km    ROF 5       
Douglas-Xavier DX-64M Tracking System (2)     Max Range: 64,000 km   TS: 16,000 km/s
Douglas-Xavier DX-256 Tracking System (2)     Max Range: 256,000 km   TS: 4,000 km/s
R-15 Gas-Cooled Fast Reactor (3)     Total Power Output 47.3    Exp 5%

Kentaro-Morgan KM-5M Active Sensor (1)     GPS 12     Range 4.8m km    MCR 430.9k km    Resolution 1
Kentaro-Morgan KM-40 Active Sensor (1)     GPS 4320     Range 40.9m km    Resolution 120
TH-6 Passive Sensor (1)     Sensitivity 6     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  19.4m km

The Artemis-J is a jump-capable variant of the standard Artemis , which sacrifices its particle beams in exchange for the MJ-138 Military Jump Drive and some extra fuel. The changes to the base were kept simple so that both designs could be built in the same shipyard. Two ships are in service.

Artemis - J class Frigate      13,750 tons       404 Crew       2,249.2 BP       TCS 275    TH 1,100    EM 0
4000 km/s    JR 3-50      Armour 5-51       Shields 0-0       HTK 85      Sensors 6/0/0/0      DCR 8      PPV 68.64
Maint Life 1.99 Years     MSP 817    AFR 189%    IFR 2.6%    1YR 274    5YR 4,103    Max Repair 275 MSP
Commander    Control Rating 1   BRG   
Intended Deployment Time: 12 months    Morale Check Required   

MJ-138 Military Jump Drive     Max Ship Size 13800 tons    Distance 50k km     Squadron Size 3

Beigie-Bryant-550 Particle Thrust Engine (2)    Power 1100    Fuel Use 33.37%    Signature 550    Explosion 10%
Fuel Capacity 674,000 Litres    Range 26.4 billion km (76 days at full power)

Archer-Komarov AK-15 Medium Pulse Cannon (6x4)    Range 150,000km     TS: 4,000 km/s     Power 9-4.5     RM 50,000 km    ROF 10       
Twin Interceptor Turret (2x8)    Range 30,000km     TS: 16000 km/s     Power 0-0     RM 30,000 km    ROF 5       
Douglas-Xavier DX-64M Tracking System (2)     Max Range: 64,000 km   TS: 16,000 km/s     84 69 53 38 22 6 0 0 0 0
Douglas-Xavier DX-256 Tracking System (2)     Max Range: 256,000 km   TS: 4,000 km/s     96 92 88 84 80 77 73 69 65 61
R-15 Gas-Cooled Fast Reactor (2)     Total Power Output 31.5    Exp 5%

Kentaro-Morgan KM-5M Active Sensor (1)     GPS 12     Range 4.8m km    MCR 430.9k km    Resolution 1
Kentaro-Morgan KM-40 Active Sensor (1)     GPS 4320     Range 40.9m km    Resolution 120
TH-6 Passive Sensor (1)     Sensitivity 6     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  19.4m km

The Tethys class Police Cutter is a light combatant intended for general patrol and security duties. As a result, the Tethys is capable of much longer deployments than the larger warships and the sensor suite is superior to that of the larger Artemis class frigate. The armament comprises two medium and four light pulse cannon, plus a single interceptor turret, enabling the Tethys to protect a colony from light raiding forces or operate with the Fleet as an anti-missile escort. All Tethys class ships are named after the moons of the Sol system. Twelve are in service.

Tethys class Police Cutter      6,875 tons       215 Crew       1,228.3 BP       TCS 137    TH 550    EM 0
4000 km/s      Armour 3-32       Shields 0-0       HTK 51      Sensors 18/6/0/0      DCR 6      PPV 40.32
Maint Life 3.68 Years     MSP 670    AFR 63%    IFR 0.9%    1YR 77    5YR 1,152    Max Repair 275 MSP
Commander    Control Rating 1   BRG   
Intended Deployment Time: 36 months    Morale Check Required   

Beigie-Bryant-550 Particle Thrust Engine (1)    Power 550    Fuel Use 33.37%    Signature 550    Explosion 10%
Fuel Capacity 328,000 Litres    Range 25.7 billion km (74 days at full power)

Archer-Komarov AK-15 Medium Pulse Cannon (2x4)    Range 150,000km     TS: 4,000 km/s     Power 9-4.5    ROF 10       
Archer-Komarov AK-10 Light Pulse Cannon (4x4)    Range 50,000km     TS: 4,000 km/s     Power 3-3    ROF 5       
Twin Interceptor Turret (1x8)    Range 30,000km     TS: 16000 km/s     Power 0-0     RM 30,000 km    ROF 5       
Douglas-Xavier DX-256 Tracking System (1)     Max Range: 256,000 km   TS: 4,000 km/s
Douglas-Xavier DX-64M Tracking System (1)     Max Range: 64,000 km   TS: 16,000 km/s
Douglas-Xavier DX-128 Tracking System (1)     Max Range: 128,000 km   TS: 4,000 km/s
R-22 Gas-Cooled Fast Reactor (1)     Total Power Output 22.8    Exp 5%

Kentaro-Morgan KM-40 Active Sensor (1)     GPS 4320     Range 40.9m km    Resolution 120
Kentaro-Morgan KM-5M Active Sensor (1)     GPS 12     Range 4.8m km    MCR 430.9k km    Resolution 1
TH-18 Passive Sensor (1)     Sensitivity 18     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  33.5m km
EM-6 Passive Sensor (1)     Sensitivity 6     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  19.4m km

The Icarus class is designed for long-range exploration and survey missions. With extensive crew facilities, a large engineering deck and substantial fuel reserves, the Icarus can remain away from port for up to five years. The electronics suite includes large arrays of both geological and gravitational sensors, an active sensor with a range of forty million kilometres and capable passive sensors. The Icarus carries a single Kestrel class shuttle, which can be used for probing planetary systems or acting as a lifeboat if the ship suffers a catastrophic failure. Icarus class ships are named after mortal heroes from Greek mythology.

Icarus class Exploration Ship      9,375 tons       248 Crew       1,434.1 BP       TCS 187    TH 563    EM 0
3000 km/s    JR 3-50      Armour 1-39       Shields 0-0       HTK 60      Sensors 12/6/3/3      DCR 12      PPV 0
Maint Life 6.12 Years     MSP 1,195    AFR 56%    IFR 0.8%    1YR 55    5YR 820    Max Repair 210.9375 MSP
Hangar Deck Capacity 400 tons     
Commander    Control Rating 2   BRG   SCI   
Intended Deployment Time: 60 months    Flight Crew Berths 8    Morale Check Required   

MJ-94 Military Jump Drive     Max Ship Size 9400 tons    Distance 50k km     Squadron Size 3
Beigie-Bryant-560E Particle Thrust Engine (1)    Power 562.5    Fuel Use 13.92%    Signature 562.5    Explosion 7%
Fuel Capacity 1,001,000 Litres    Range 138.1 billion km (532 days at full power)

Kentaro-Morgan KM-40 Active Sensor (1)     GPS 4320     Range 40.9m km    Resolution 120
TH-12 Passive Sensor (1)     Sensitivity 12     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  27.4m km
EM-6 Passive Sensor (1)     Sensitivity 6     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  19.4m km
Geological Survey Sensors (3)   3 Survey Points Per Hour
Gravitational Survey Sensors (3)   3 Survey Points Per Hour

Strike Group
1x Kestrel - J Shuttle   Speed: 3127 km/s    Size: 8

The Starfury is the standard fighter of EarthForce in 2250. Capable of 10,000 km/s and equipped with the JC-3A Pulse Discharge Cannon, the Starfury can attack targets more than half a billion kilometres from its mother ship, or perform close escort to defend against missile attack. The Omega class destroyer carries thirty-six Starfuries and the Hyperion class cruiser carries ten.

SF-1A Starfury class Fighter      400 tons       16 Crew       90.6 BP       TCS 8    TH 80    EM 0
10001 km/s      Armour 1-4       Shields 0-0       HTK 2      Sensors 0/0/0/0      DCR 0      PPV 2.33
Maint Life 2.12 Years     MSP 40    AFR 80%    IFR 1.1%    1YR 12    5YR 178    Max Repair 40 MSP
Lieutenant Commander    Control Rating 1   
Intended Deployment Time: 0.9 days    Morale Check Required   

Beigie-Bryant-80B Particle Thrust Engine (1)    Power 80    Fuel Use 700%    Signature 80    Explosion 20%
Fuel Capacity 19,000 Litres    Range 1.22 billion km (33 hours at full power)

Copeland JC-3A Pulse Discharge Cannon (1x3)    Range 50,000km     TS: 10,001 km/s     Power 2-2.25    ROF 5       
Douglas-Xavier DX-64F Tracking System (1)     Max Range: 64,000 km   TS: 10,000 km/s
Starfury MK I Reactor (1)     Total Power Output 2.3    Exp 5%
Starfury MK II Active Sensor (1)     GPS 3     Range 2.1m km    MCR 192.7k km    Resolution 1

The Fleet operates two types of troop transports. The Erebus has a drop-capable 25,000-ton transport capacity and can transport a Marine Regiment with its four constituent battalions. The smaller Phoebe is jump-capable and has a 10,000-ton capacity, making it ideal for transporting expedition-size forces on geosurvey or xenoarchaeological missions. Neither ship is suitable for a combat situation, so EarthForce plans to develop a future design intended to drop troops in a hostile environment.

Erebus class Troop Transport      61,104 tons       406 Crew       2,314.8 BP       TCS 1,222    TH 2,500    EM 0
2045 km/s      Armour 4-138       Shields 0-0       HTK 132      Sensors 6/6/0/0      DCR 1      PPV 0
MSP 23    Max Repair 200 MSP
Troop Capacity 25,000 tons     Drop Capable    Cargo Shuttle Multiplier 4   
Lieutenant Commander    Control Rating 1   BRG   
Intended Deployment Time: 3 months   

Commercial Ion Drive  (5)    Power 2500    Fuel Use 2.24%    Signature 500    Explosion 4%
Fuel Capacity 500,000 Litres    Range 65.7 billion km (372 days at full power)

Kentaro-Morgan KM-24 Active Sensor (1)     GPS 1560     Range 24.3m km    Resolution 130
EM-6 Passive Sensor (1)     Sensitivity 6     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  19.4m km
TH-6 Passive Sensor (1)     Sensitivity 6     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  19.4m km

Phoebe class Troop Transport      39,901 tons       263 Crew       891.1 BP       TCS 798    TH 2,000    EM 0
2506 km/s    JR 1-25(C)      Armour 1-104       Shields 0-0       HTK 79      Sensors 6/6/0/0      DCR 1      PPV 0
MSP 13    Max Repair 100 MSP
Troop Capacity 10,000 tons     Cargo Shuttle Multiplier 3   
Commander    Control Rating 1   BRG   
Intended Deployment Time: 3 months   

CJ-40 Commercial Jump Drive     Max Ship Size 40500 tons    Distance 25k km     Squadron Size 1
Commercial Ion Drive (4)    Power 2000    Fuel Use 2.24%    Signature 500    Explosion 4%
Fuel Capacity 500,000 Litres    Range 100.7 billion km (465 days at full power)

Kentaro-Morgan KM-24 Active Sensor (1)     GPS 1560     Range 24.3m km    Resolution 130
EM-6 Passive Sensor (1)     Sensitivity 6     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  19.4m km
TH-6 Passive Sensor (1)     Sensitivity 6     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  19.4m km

Each Omega class destroyer carries a single Invader class Breaching Pod for boarding attacks. The Invader carries a Marine Raiding Force (see ground forces section).

Invader class Breaching Pod      1,000 tons       23 Crew       123.2 BP       TCS 20    TH 180    EM 0
9004 km/s      Armour 1-8       Shields 0-0       HTK 4      Sensors 0/0/0/0      DCR 0      PPV 0
Maint Life 0.26 Years     MSP 7    AFR 80%    IFR 1.1%    1YR 27    5YR 411    Max Repair 90 MSP
Troop Capacity 500 tons     Boarding Capable   
Lieutenant Commander    Control Rating 1   
Intended Deployment Time: 2.4 days    Morale Check Required   

Beigie-Bryant-180B Particle Thrust Engine (1)    Power 180    Fuel Use 466.67%    Signature 180    Explosion 20%
Fuel Capacity 25,000 Litres    Range 0.96 billion km (29 hours at full power)
Kentaro-Morgan KM-7 Active Sensor (1)     GPS 144     Range 7.5m km    Resolution 120

The Kestrel is a utility shuttle with long range, a reconnaissance capability and two hundred cryogenic berths for search and rescue operations. Kestrels are carried by Omega class destroyers and Hyperion class cruisers.

Kestrel class Shuttle      300 tons       6 Crew       43.1 BP       TCS 6    TH 25    EM 0
4167 km/s      Armour 1-3       Shields 0-0       HTK 3      Sensors 1/1/0/0      DCR 0      PPV 0
Maint Life 4.41 Years     MSP 30    AFR 60%    IFR 0.8%    1YR 2    5YR 37    Max Repair 12.5 MSP
Cryogenic Berths 200   
Lieutenant Commander    Control Rating 1   
Intended Deployment Time: 12 months    Morale Check Required   

Beigie-Bryant-25 Particle Thrust Engine (1)    Power 25    Fuel Use 156.52%    Signature 25    Explosion 10%
Fuel Capacity 32,000 Litres    Range 12.3 billion km (34 days at full power)

Kentaro-Morgan KM-24 Active Sensor (1)     GPS 1560     Range 24.3m km    Resolution 130
EM-2 Passive Sensor (1)     Sensitivity 1.8     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  10.6m km
TH-2 Passive Sensor (1)     Sensitivity 1.8     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  10.6m km

The Kestrel-J is a larger version of the standard Kestrel, adding an inherent jump capability and seventy percent greater range. The Kestrel-J is carried by Icarus class exploration ships and used for long-range probes of planetary systems to minimise risk to the mothership. It will also serve as a lifeboat if the ship suffers a catastrophic failure or damage from hostile action.

Kestrel - J class Shuttle      400 tons       8 Crew       56.2 BP       TCS 8    TH 25    EM 0
3127 km/s    JR 1-50      Armour 1-4       Shields 0-0       HTK 5      Sensors 1/1/0/0      DCR 0      PPV 0
Maint Life 3.98 Years     MSP 35    AFR 80%    IFR 1.1%    1YR 4    5YR 53    Max Repair 12.5 MSP
Cryogenic Berths 200   
Lieutenant Commander    Control Rating 1   
Intended Deployment Time: 12 months    Morale Check Required   

MJ-4 Military Jump Drive     Max Ship Size 400 tons    Distance 50k km     Squadron Size 1
Beigie-Bryant-25 Particle Thrust Engine (1)    Power 25    Fuel Use 156.52%    Signature 25    Explosion 10%
Fuel Capacity 72,000 Litres    Range 20.7 billion km (76 days at full power)

Kentaro-Morgan KM-24 Active Sensor (1)     GPS 1560     Range 24.3m km    Resolution 130
EM-2 Passive Sensor (1)     Sensitivity 1.8     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  10.6m km
TH-2 Passive Sensor (1)     Sensitivity 1.8     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  10.6m km

EarthForce Ground Forces
8x Marine Regiment (each with 4x Colonial Marine Battalion + Regimental Assets)
8x Marine Raiding Force
4x Marine (Independent) Company
4x Tank Battalion
6x Planetary Defence Battalion
2x Engineer Battalion
2x Survey Expedition
2x Xenoarchaeological Expedition

Marine Battalion
Transport Size: 4,962 tons
Build Cost: 154 BP
400x Marine Rifleman
100x Marine - LMG
12x Mortar Section
24x Anti-Tank Section
4x Forward Air Control Party
16x Centaur AFV
8x Supply Section
2x Marine Battalion HQ

Regimental Assets
Transport Size: 4,863 tons
Build Cost: 154 BP
1x Regimental HQ
48x Medium Howitzer
36x Supply Vehicle

Marine Raiding Force
Transport Size: 500 tons
Build Cost: 38 BP
60x Marine Raider
15x Marine Raider - LMG
2x Marine Raiding Force HQ

Marine Company
Transport Size: 1,248 tons
Build Cost: 38 BP
100x Marine Rifleman
25x Marine - LMG
3x Mortar Section
6x Anti-Tank Section
1x Forward Air Control Party
4x Centaur AFV
2x Marine Company HQ
2x Supply Section

Tank Battalion
Transport Size: 4,422 tons
Build Cost: 346 BP
60x Minotaur Battle Tank
2x Minotaur-C Command Tank
8x Supply Vehicle

Planetary Defence Battalion
Transport Size: 3,839 tons
Build Cost: 772 BP
2x Guardian Planetary Defence Installation
4x Medusa Ground-based Heavy Laser
1x Marine Battalion HQ

History of the Earth Alliance
EarthForce’s primary focus during the first six months of 2250 was a complete survey of Sol. The geological survey revealed numerous mineral discoveries, although only three of significance. Mars, the easiest of the three to exploit, had seven million tons of accessibility 0.7 Duranium and a million tons of accessibility 0.7 Boronide. Jupiter’s moon Europa had one point two million tons of accessibility 0.9 Duranium, plus three other minerals, while Halley’s comet had accessible deposits of six minerals, including a hundred and thirty thousand tons of accessibility 1.0 Duranium. The latter discovery provided the first destination for the five Hephaestus class mining stations. The Demeter class fuel harvesters were towed to Neptune, which had the only gaseous Sorium in Sol; two million tons at accessibility 0.6.

Mars Survey Report
Duranium:   6,993,800   0.70
Boronide:   1,183,744   0.70
Vendarite:   166,464   0.10

Europa Survey Report
Duranium:   1,230,881   0.90
Corbomite:   886,234   0.90
Vendarite:   98,470   0.50
Sorium:   772,008   0.20

Halley’s Comet Survey Report
Duranium:   130,945   1.00
Corbomite:   31,585   0.50
Boronide:   21,626   0.70
Sorium:   30,353   0.80
Uridium:   5,347   0.60
Corundium:   63,292   0.50

The gravitational survey revealed four jump points, all of which were within a ninety degree arc. The innermost, at eight hundred million kilometres, led to Proxima, a red dwarf system with four planets and over four hundred asteroids. Proxima II was an Earth-sized planet with a nitrogen – oxygen atmosphere of 0.68 atm, including thirty-seven percent oxygen, and an ice sheet covering sixty percent of the surface. If sufficient Aestusium was added to raise the temperature from -45C and decrease the oxygen percentage, Proxima II would become an ideal habitable world. The geological survey was disappointing, with the only accessible deposit being eight million tons of Neutronium.

Proxima II Survey Report
Neutronium:   7,952,400   0.80
Corbomite:   230,400   0.10
Tritanium:   8,643,600   0.10
Vendarite:   90,000   0.10
Corundium:   1,587,600   0.10

The second jump point, two point four billion kilometres from Sol, led to AX Microscopii. The M0-V red dwarf star had ten planets and even more asteroids than Proxima. AX Microscopii I was a tide-locked dwarf planet similar in size to Earth’s moon. Despite a surface temperature of 280C and no atmosphere or water, it was the best site for a colony in the system as the tide-locked status created a narrow band where the temperatures were survivable with sufficient infrastructure. The colony cost was 2.02. As the planet had five accessible mineral deposits, including three hundred thousand tons of Duranium, a settlement of 500,000 was established. AX Microscopii-A VII, a small gas giant, had a hundred thousand tons of accessibility 0.9 Sorium, so a Hercules class tug began redeploying the harvesters from Neptune. Given the nomenclature of the system, EarthForce personnel almost always referred to AX Microscopii as ‘AX’ or ‘Axe’, although it retained the full name in official reports.

AX Microscopii-A I Survey Report
Duranium:   346,112   0.90
Neutronium:   921,600   0.60
Tritanium:   2,027,776   0.50
Boronide:   1,149,184   0.70
Uridium:   123,904   1.00

Jump point three, at two point eight million kilometres, led to the binary system of Alpha Centauri. Four planets orbited the G2-V primary and five orbited the orange K1-V companion. Eight of the nine planets were terrestrial worlds, three of which had nitrogen-oxygen atmospheres and substantial ice sheets. All three were potential terraforming candidates with the most promising being Alpha Centauri-B III. The atmosphere of 0.74 atm including 0.082 atm of oxygen, making it close to breathable, while the temperature was -38C. The planet was 10,800 km in diameter, making it approximately forty percent faster to terraform than Earth. All eleven trans-Newtonian minerals were present, including seven million tons of accessibility 0.9 Gallicite and thirty-seven million tons of accessibility 0.4 Duranium. A small colony of 500,000 was established on the planet.

Alpha Centauri-B III Survey Report
Duranium:   37,324,800   0.40
Neutronium:   419,904   0.40
Corbomite:   236,196   0.80
Tritanium:   26,873,856   0.10
Boronide:   4,210,704   0.10
Mercassium:   1,542,564   0.10
Vendarite:   571,536   0.30
Sorium:   2,286,144   0.40
Uridium:   46,656   0.10
Corundium:   28,005,264   0.50
Gallicite:   7,001,316   0.90

Alpha Centauri-A III Survey Report
Duranium:   25,747,488   0.40
Tritanium:   16,451,136   0.40
Boronide:   6,760,000   0.40
Vendarite:   1,430,416   0.10
Sorium:   20,466,576   0.10
Uridium:   14,409,616   0.50

Jump point four, in the depths of the Sol system at five billion kilometres, led to 61 Hydrae, a Y-class brown dwarf with four unremarkable planets. Due to the small mass of the star, a gravitational survey was quickly completed, revealing two new jump points. The first led to Bernard’s Star, a red dwarf with a single barren planet. The second remained unexplored at the end of 2250.

On August 9th 2250, the small population on AX Microscopii began receiving unintelligible messages of unknown origin. The Tethys class police cutter Pandora was dispatched from Earth to investigate. Two weeks later, as she approached the inner system, she detected an alien ship within the orbit of the second planet. Hours later, Pandora moved within active sensor range of the colony and detected eight alien ships in orbit, designated as four Vorchans, three Mograths and a Sulust, all of which were approximately 8000 tons. The shock of confirming that aliens were no longer confined to textbooks about an ancient wreck on Mars was compounded by their presence in orbit of an Alliance colony within a single transit of Earth. Shortly thereafter, another alien ship, designated as Rutarian class, was detected close to the three Alliance fuel harvesters in orbit of the seventh planet. Based on its movements, the Rutarian appeared to be a geological survey ship.



Although President Santiago was officially the Commander-in-Chief of EarthForce, the actual military commander was Admiral Harrison Tyler. After a brief consultation with the President, Admiral Tyler dispatched an expeditionary force comprising two Omega class destroyers, three Hyperion class cruisers, including one of the J-variants, and two Artemis class frigates to the Sol - AX Microscopii jump point with orders to secure that jump point against any alien intrusion. Three Hercules class tugs were ordered into AX to remove the fuel harvesters from the seventh planet. Finally, Pandora was ordered to take up station over the colony and begin communication attempts with the alien ships.

1st Expeditionary Force
Omega class Destroyer: Acheron, Agamemnon
Hyperion class Cruiser: Aegean, Amundsen
Hyperion - J class Cruiser: Helios
Artemis class Frigate: Hestia, Mnemosyne
2x Invader class Breaching Pod:
92x SF-1A Starfury class Fighter:
6x Kestrel class Shuttle:

Full communication with the alien race, which identified itself as the Centauri Republic, was established in mid-September. The Centauri were remarkably similar to humans in outward appearance, except for radical differences in hairstyling and attire. As part of the initial discussions, the Centauri claimed that humans were from a long-lost Centauri colony, although this was quickly abandoned after the human negotiating team suggested joint medical exams to corroborate the claim. Even while discussions continued, a fifth type of Centauri ship, designated as Altarian class, was encountered in AX, apparently engaged in a gravitational survey.

On September 22nd, the Centauri Republic requested that Earth Alliance forces leave AX as the system lay within their territory. The lead negotiator for the Alliance, Captain Tamara Prometheus, pointed out that the Alliance had established a colony on the first planet before any Centauri ships were detected in the system, so if anything it should be the Centauri forces that had to leave. Captain Prometheus was under firm instructions from Admiral Tyler that the Alliance was not leaving a system one jump from Sol, regardless of the situation. A second Alliance exploration ship entered AX to boost the effort to find the entry point from Centauri space.

On October 11th, a new Diplomatic Station named Babylon One was towed into orbit of the colony on AX Microscopii I. The small, 2000-ton Babylon station provided a base for Captain Prometheus during her effort to resolve the AX situation diplomatically. Unfortunately, the tone of the Centauri negotiating team continued to worsen. A week after the arrival of the station, they requested that Alliance forces leave AX as a matter of urgency.

Two days after that demand, the exploration ship Theseus detected a jump point in AX less than four hundred million kilometres from the red dwarf primary. When Theseus approached the area, she detected a group of five Centauri ships on the new jump point. The largest was a commercial-engined vessel of 73,000 tons, accompanied by a two 16,000 ton military-engined ships, designated as Amar and Kraken classes, an 8000-ton Mograth class and a Centurion class vessel of 9300 tons.

Theseus ignored the Centauri squadron and entered the jump point, emerging one point two billion kilometres from the yellow-white F6-V star Pi-3 Orionis, which was orbited by four planets. The fourth planet was an ideal habitable world; colder and slightly smaller than Earth, but with an almost identical atmosphere. The temperature of -6.4C placed the planet on the low end of human tolerance and resulted in a landscape dominated by tundra. The Pi-3 Orionis side of the jump point was stable, suggesting that the large Centauri commercial-engine ship in AX was a stabilisation ship with an escort group. While it seemed likely the habitable world was the Centauri home world, that had yet to be confirmed. Captain Hubrecht Van Dalen of the Theseus dispatched his ship’s Kestrel-J class shuttle toward the inner system on a reconnaissance mission.

On October 25th 2250, the Kestrel-J detected a very large population on Pi-3 Orionis IV with an EM signature pf over two hundred thousand, approximately twenty-five percent higher than Earth. In reaction to the presence of Theseus, the Centauri issued new and aggressive communiques, demanding that the Alliance immediately left both AX Microscopii and Pi-3 Orionis, with an added threat of being fired upon in the latter. Theseus pulled back into AX, but left the shuttle to complete its run toward the Centauri home world. The Kestrel entered orbit on the 26th, revealing a huge Centauri fleet. With its mission complete, the shuttle headed for the jump point.

As a result of the mission into Pi-3 Orionis, Earth Alliance Intelligence had a good picture of the total forces available to the Centauri Republic, albeit without any knowledge of their maximum speed, weapons or defence. A list of known Centauri ships in October 2250 is shown below. In almost all cases, the size of ship is known and in some cases the type of engine is known.

Known Centauri Ships.
1x Altarian: Size Unknown. Military. Probable Gravsurvey.
33x Amar: 16,000 tons. Military
26x Balvarin: 53,000 tons.
2x Centurion: 9300 tons.
4x Covran: 8300 tons. Military. Probable Scout.
15x Dargan: 33,000 tons.
3x Darkner: 17,000 tons.
3x Decurion: 74,000 tons
10x Demos: 24,000 tons.
18x Kitai: 47,000 tons.
3x Elutarian: 20,000 tons.
8x Haven: 16,000 tons.
16x Kraken: 16,000 tons. Military
3x Maximus: 19,000 tons.
35x Mograth: 8000 tons. Military.
20x Primus: 24,000 tons.
6x Octurion: 162,000 tons.
2x Rutarian: 9800 tons. Military. Probable Geosurvey
10x Secundus: 45,000 tons.
2x Sulust: 8000 tons.
26x Vasachi: 37,000 tons.
8x Vorchan: 8,000 tons.
26x Vorchar: 24,000 tons.



On 28th October 2250, President Santiago, with the support of the Senate, informed Admiral Tyler that under no circumstances would the Alliance withdraw from AX Microscopii. Having a potentially hostile alien force on the other side of a jump point to Sol was unacceptable. On that basis, Admiral Tyler was to take whatever steps he deemed necessary. With conflict with the Centauri apparently imminent, Admiral Tyler had already doubled the size of the First Expeditionary Force on the Sol - AX jump point, and it contained half of the capital ships in EarthForce. He gave the order for that force, under the command of Captain Aella Phoenix, to enter AX, eliminate Centauri forces and secure the jump point to the Centauri home system. Even while the Expeditionary forces was heading in-system, the Centauri issued a new demand that all Alliance ships must leave AX Microscopii or be fired upon.

1st Expeditionary Force
Omega class Destroyer: Acheron, Agamemnon, Orion, Roanoke
Hyperion - J class Cruiser: Helios
Hyperion class Cruiser: Aegean, Amundsen, Lexington, Prometheus
Artemis class Frigate: Hestia, Mnemosyne, Psyche, Themis
4x Invader class Breaching Pod:
184x SF-1A Starfury class Fighter:
12x Kestrel class Shuttle:

The Centauri deployment in AX comprised two main groups, three hundred and sixty million kilometres apart. The smaller group, comprising the suspected stabilisation ship, the 16,000-ton Kraken, 16,000-ton Amar and an 8000-ton Mograth, were on the jump point to the Centauri home system. The 9300-ton Centurion had disappeared and was assumed to have transited. In orbit of the Alliance colony were four Vorchans, three Mograths and a Sulust, all of which were 8000-ton ships. Captain Phoenix decided to split her force and attack the two groups simultaneously. The four Omega class destroyers and two frigates headed for the planet, while the Hyperions and the other two frigates moved toward the jump point. Captain Phoenix ordered Pandora, the police cutter on station above the colony, to clear the battle area.

The Centauri held their positions, presumably treating the approach of the warships as posturing by the Alliance. That proved to be a costly error when both Alliance forces moved to within one hundred thousand kilometres and opened fire. At 78,000 tons, the Omega class destroyers were far larger than their opponents, so each destroyer targeted two alien ships. The Hyperions faced larger but less numerous opponents so were able to concentrate on a single target each. All eleven suspected Centauri warships were hit by the opening volley, with each suffering between five and thirty-two hits. The heavy lasers inflicted strength-8 hits, while the heavy pulse cannon scored lighter but more numerous strength-2 hits. The particle beams were strength-4 throughout their range. Five Centauri ships suffered hull breaches, evidenced by the atmosphere streaming out through holes in their armour.

The Centauri were quick to respond. The Kraken, Vorchan and Sulust class ships were armed with a more advanced version of the Alliance particle beams, mounting nine, three and one weapons respectively. The Omega class destroyer Acheron and the Hyperion class cruiser Aegean each suffered eight strength-6 hits. Babylon One, the diplomatic station in orbit of the planet, was ripped apart by a hail of fire from the Mograth class ships, which mounted fast-firing weapons similar to the Alliance interceptor turrets.

Three Vorchans and two Mograth remained in orbit of AX Microscopii I, while a Mograth, a Vorchan, the Sulust and a nearby Rutarian geological survey vessel all ran for the distant jump point, bringing them closer to the Alliance ships. At the jump point itself, the stabilisation ship and three escorting warships moved away in the opposite direction from the Hyperions. Presumably, the large stabilisation ship could not jump back into Pi-3 Orionis and the warships remained to protect it. The Alliance force near the jump point pursued the retreating Centauri, while the Omega class destroyers held their position near the colony.

The Alliance particle beams and the medium pulse cannons on the four frigates recharged within ten seconds and inflicted further damage on all targets. The Centauri warships in orbit of the Alliance colony began moving away from the Omegas at 5157 km/s, much faster than the 4000 km/s of Alliance warships, but not before the Mograth class ships fired on the surface, destroying the colony’s tracking station and killing 18,000 civilians.



Near the colony, the Sulust was struck by heavy pulse cannon fire at just 50,000 km and disintegrated. Moments later the Vorchan and Mograth running for the jump point were both skewered by strength-16 hits from multiple heavy laser cannon. Both ships exploded. Simultaneously, the Hyperions destroyed the Amar, Kraken and  Mograth class warships escorting the Centauri stabilisation ship. A single Starfury was launched with orders to disable the stabilisation ship, while the Hyperions moved to the jump point and sent through a shuttle as a sensor picket.

The Rutarian class survey ship was destroyed by the frigate Themis as it passed by the Expeditionary Force. The Omegas continued to pursue the three Vorchan and two Mograth near the planet, inflicting internal damage on all five ships. One Vorchan was left dead in space, while the other ships all dropped to half speed. In return, the frigate Psyche was struck by two strength-6 particle beams. A follow-up volley from the Omegas resulted in two massive secondary explosions that tore apart a Vorchan and a Mograth. A second Mograth was crippled.



Captain Aella Phoenix ordered all ships to cease fire, while she considered the options for boarding the crippled ships. Each Omega class destroyer carried a single breaching pod with a Marine Raiding Force. Vorchan 004 was dead in space and appeared to have ceased fire, so it was left alone for the moment. Mograth 003 was also motionless, but it mounted short-range weapons that could still be operational and used to fire on Vorchan 004 if the latter ship was captured. Therefore a breaching pod was sent to board Mograth 003 first. Vorchan 002 continued to run at half speed so a second pod was dispatched to attempt a boarding while the ship was still underway. A fifth of the marine raiders from the 2nd Marine Raiding Force were lost, but the remainder gained access to the alien ship. Once the first two boarding engagement were underway, a third raiding force landed on the crippled Mograth. Within a few minutes, all three ships were secured. The fourth and final breaching pod was sent to the jump point to board the stabilisation ship.

The Vorchan class, designated as a frigate, was armed with three strength-6 particle beams with a two hundred thousand kilometres range. The Centauri obviously placed an emphasis on speed as their engine technology was the same generation as the Earth Alliance, yet their ships had a thirty percent speed advantage. That gave the Alliance an advantage in the tonnage dedicated to weapon power, but only when the Centauri allowed the Alliance into range. Of course, the Starfury class fighter was almost twice as fast as the Vorchan so fighter strikes were still an option. The Mograth class escort was armed with the Centauri equivalent of a single twin interceptor turret, plus a smaller version for self-defence only. The Mograth would be more dangerous to fighter strikes then the slower-firing particle beams of the Vorchan.

Vorchan class Frigate      7,985 tons       201 Crew       1,229.7 BP       TCS 160    TH 825    EM 0
5166 km/s      Armour 6-35       Shields 0-0       HTK 47      Sensors 6/6/0/0      DCR 4      PPV 24
Maint Life 1.76 Years     MSP 385    AFR 128%    IFR 1.8%    1YR 153    5YR 2,291    Max Repair 206.25 MSP
Commander    Control Rating 1   BRG   
Intended Deployment Time: 12 months    Morale Check Required   

Ion Drive  EP412.5 (2)    Power 825.0    Fuel Use 55.05%    Signature 412.5    Explosion 10%
Fuel Capacity 700,000 Litres    Range 28.7 billion km (64 days at full power)

Particle Beam-6 (3)    Range 200,000km     TS: 5,166 km/s     Power 15-4    ROF 20       
Beam Fire Control R256-TS4000 (2)     Max Range: 256,000 km   TS: 4,000 km/s     96 92 88 84 80 77 73 69 65 61
Gas-Cooled Fast Reactor R4 (3)     Total Power Output 12.8    Exp 5%

Active Search Sensor AS54-R100 (1)     GPS 7200     Range 54.4m km    Resolution 100
Thermal Sensor TH1-6 (1)     Sensitivity 6     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  19.4m km
EM Sensor EM1-6 (1)     Sensitivity 6     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  19.4m km

Mograth class Escort      7,999 tons       162 Crew       1,132.2 BP       TCS 160    TH 825    EM 0
5157 km/s      Armour 5-35       Shields 0-0       HTK 40      Sensors 0/0/0/0      DCR 4      PPV 20.64
Maint Life 1.58 Years     MSP 353    AFR 128%    IFR 1.8%    1YR 163    5YR 2,451    Max Repair 206.25 MSP
Commander    Control Rating 2   BRG   AUX   
Intended Deployment Time: 12 months    Morale Check Required   

Ion Drive  EP412.5 (2)    Power 825.0    Fuel Use 55.05%    Signature 412.5    Explosion 10%
Fuel Capacity 750,000 Litres    Range 30.7 billion km (68 days at full power)

Twin Gauss Cannon R200-100 Turret (1x6)    Range 20,000km     TS: 16000 km/s    RM 20,000 km    ROF 5       
CIWS-160 (1x6)    Range 1000 km     TS: 16,000 km/s     ROF 5       
Beam Fire Control R64-TS16000 (2)     Max Range: 64,000 km   TS: 16,000 km/s     84 69 53 38 22 6 0 0 0 0
Active Search Sensor AS14-R1 (1)     GPS 108     Range 14.4m km    MCR 1.3m km    Resolution 1

As a result of the engagement in AX Microscopii, eight of the eleven Centauri warships were destroyed, with the other three captured by marine raiders. A Rutarian class survey ship was also destroyed, and a stabilisation ship captured. For the moment at least, the system was secured. The Expeditionary Force reassembled at the jump point to await a Centauri counter-attack that, given the number of ships in orbit of their home world, would no doubt feature far more significant combat power than the small force defeated in AX Microscopii.

Offline Steve Walmsley (OP)

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Re: Earth Alliance Updates Thread
« Reply #1 on: December 17, 2020, 11:33:27 AM »
(note that some of the screenshots may be wider than the text, but you can see them by using the scrollbar at the bottom)

On November 4th 2250, the frigate Hestia, stationed on the jump point in Pi-3 Orionis to provide early warning of a counter-attack, detected a strong Centauri force approaching in three groups. The lead group comprised three 16,000 ton Krakens, designated as light cruisers and armed with nine particle beams, a 16,000 ton Amar of unknown capability and three 8000 Mograth class escorts, armed with interceptor turrets. Twenty million kilometres astern of the first group were two much larger groups 600,000 km apart. In total, they comprised two 24,000 ton Demos, four 24,000 ton Primus, three Krakens, four Amars, six Mograth class escorts, four Vorchan class frigates and a Sulust.



Captain Aella Phoenix immediately saw the potential for engaging the first group before the larger trailing groups were in range. However, if her main force transited too soon the small group could reverse course and use its superior speed to avoid combat. If the Alliance ships transited once the Centauri warships were in range, they would be in jump shock and unable to engage. Captain Phoenix also considered a third option. The Expeditionary Force included almost two hundred Starfuries, which could launch a long-range strike against the seven leading ships. They would be very vulnerable to the fast-tracking interceptor turrets on the three Mograth class escorts and would no doubt be destroyed by a single particle beam hit. In addition, the armament of the Amar was unknown and could also pose a threat. Even so, if the Starfuries could overwhelm the lead group it would eliminate approximately twenty percent of the total enemy force, without risking the major Alliance warships. The alternative was to wait for the Centauri to transit into AX Microscopii and attack them while they suffered from jump shock, although they would likely retreat quickly if the battle went against them.

Captain Phoenix waited until the lead group was two million kilometres from the jump point, then ordered the Expeditionary Force into Pi-3 Orionis. Surprisingly, the seven Centauri ships continued to advance, so Phoenix held the fighters in their hangars and ordered the fleet to open fire as soon as the enemy entered maximum range. The heavy pulse cannon and lasers fired at 240,000 km, scoring four minor hits due to the extreme range, followed by the particle beams at 190,000 km, which inflicted thirteen strength-4 hits. The Centauri responded with their own particle beams and Acheron suffered six strength-6 impacts to add to the damage received in AX.

The heavy pulse cannons fired for the second time, inflicting minor damage. Twenty seconds after opening fire, the heavy lasers recharged and fired again, accompanied by the particle beams and medium pulse cannons. Over one hundred hits in total were scored, including nineteen strength-5 and twenty-eight strength-4. All four of the larger Centauri warships began streaming atmosphere and three reduced their speed. The Centauri charge was brave, but unwise considering the large follow-up forces. The destruction of their forces in AX had apparently incensed the Centauri to the point of reckless aggression.



Their bravery was bearing some fruit however. Acheron suffered a further twenty-one strength-6 hits from the Centauri particle beams. Her armour was penetrated by more than fifty percent in four places and more than seventy percent in one location. The First Expeditionary Force continued to batter the approaching ship and one of the Krakens suffered a large secondary explosion before blowing up. The three Mograths were the only Centauri ships at full speed and moved to within sixty thousand kilometres of the jump point. Captain Phoenix decided to pull back from the jump point to maintain the range, partly because she was concerned about the fast-firing but short-ranged weapons on the Mograths and partly because the sheer belligerence of the Centauri attack suggested that ramming attacks could be possible. The downside of pulling back was the potential for the Centauri ships to enter AX and either defend the far side or cause havoc in AX Microscopii.

Fortunately, the next Alliance volley was devastating. A second Kraken, the Amar and two Mograths exploded within seconds of each other and the last Kraken was left dead in space. Captain Phoenix considered launching a boarding operation but the larger Centauri force would arrive within an hour, which meant any boarding party would still be on the immobile captured ships. She recorded a suggestion in her log that either tugs should be in close support for future engagements or the next version of the Omega should include a tractor beam. The crippled Kraken managed a final defiant hit on the frigate Psyche before the final two Centauri ships were destroyed.

As Captain Phoenix had hoped, the Centauri vanguard had been eliminated well before the remaining ships entered range. However, three Alliance ships had significant armour damage. Acheron still retained the bulk of her armour belt, but was vulnerable to lucky hits in several locations. The Hyperion class cruiser Aegean had a penetration to seventy-five percent and was in a similar situation, while the frigate Psyche had three fifty percent penetrations. None of the ships was sufficiently damaged to justify pulling them out of the system when there was so much firepower bearing down on the Alliance, so their fate would depend largely on the location of future hits.

The decision now facing Captain Aella Phoenix was whether to stay in Pi-3 Orionis and fight it out with the larger Centauri force, or retreat into AX Microscopii. In the latter case, that would give the Alliance some time to engage the Centauri ships before they could recover from jump shock. Assuming, that was, they actually transited. If the Centauri ships simply took up position on the jump point, then the Alliance would have to undergo jump shock to attack them. Or the Alliance could remain on the defensive, but maintaining that strength of defence over a long period would present significant logistical challenges. Another factor concerning Phoenix was the effectiveness of the Centauri particle beams, especially at longer ranges.

After a brief conference call with the ship commanders, she decided to remain in the Centauri home system. There was a 600,000 km gap between the two groups comprising the main element of the Centauri force, with the more powerful group of six 24,000-ton ships accompanied by three Amars in the lead. The trailing group included a fourth Amar, three Krakens and eleven 8000-ton ships. Given the behaviour of the first Centauri force, Phoenix decided to go out to meet the Centauri several hundred thousand kilometres from the jump point and attempt to engage the leading group before the trailing group entered range. The preferred engagement range would be short to counter the effectiveness of the Centauri particle beams with increased damage from the Alliance lasers and pulse cannon.



With the Centauri seven million kilometres from the jump point, another group of Centauri ships appeared at the edge of sensor range. The four Primus, two Demons and three Amar class ships matched the composition of the closest group, adding another 200,000 tons to the Centauri forces. It appeared the Centauri were throwing all their forces at the jump point, which made sense as this was their home system, but half of the Alliance Fleet was still in Sol.

The four Omega class destroyers and the four Artemis class frigates each targeted one of the four Primus class ships in the lead group, while the five Hyperions, including the lightly-armed Helios, focused on the two Demos class. The three Amars would be targeted by a fighter strike. The Expeditionary Force edged back toward the jump point, then held position at 200,000 km while all ships launched their fighters.



When the closest group of Centauri ship was 260,000 km away, Captain Aella Phoenix ordered all ships to close to point blank range, including the fighters. Both sides opened fire at 220,000 km, with the Omegas scoring minor hits on the four Primus class cruisers and the Primus returning fire against the fighters, destroying three. As Alliance particle beam and medium pulse cannon began scoring hits, albeit relatively ineffective at long range, the Centauri squadron turned away, moving at perhaps sixty degrees off its previous course.

One hundred and eighty-one Starfuries closed to point blank range and discovered the Amar class ships were armed with four interceptor turrets. Fortunately, the fighters were difficult targets and only two were destroyed outright, with a third damaged. In return, the agile Starfuries strafed the Centauri escort cruisers, melting away their armour through sheer weight of fire. Particle beam and pulse cannon fire from the Omegas and the Artemis class frigates began to penetrate the armour of the Primus class cruisers.



The Primus class cruisers concentrated their fire on the frigate Psyche, inflicting twenty-eight strength-6 hits, three of which penetrated her armour. Psyche lost her interceptor turret, two of her four particle beams, a fire control and sixty percent of her armour. Captain Phoenix ordered her to break off and run for home. The Starfuries took full revenge, tearing apart the three Amar class escort cruisers with devastating fire from their pulse discharge cannon, losing two of their own number to defensive fire. The Omegas concentrated their heavy lasers on the Primus, inflicting several strength-7 hits, four of which penetrated the Centauri armour.

Scans of the Centauri ship showed that the Primus class cruisers were armed with thirteen particle beams, while the similar size Demos had only three particle beams, suggesting that the latter was potentially a jump capable ship. The Amar had shown no other armament beyond the four interceptor turrets. In any future engagement without close fighter combat, the Primus would join the Kraken class light cruisers as primary targets.

The capital ships of the Expeditionary Force continued to pound their targets, while the fighters re-organised for another attack. They charged in on the two Demos class in a pause in the barrage from the Hyperions, destroying one and crippling the other. The four Primus also suffered significant damage from the pulse cannon of the Omegas and the three remaining frigates. The second Demos exploded under heavy fire from the Starfuries, then two Primus class cruisers blew up simultaneously, one of which came under interceptor fire from Acheron at just 10,000 km. Another Primus was left dead in space, with the fourth reduced to just 1720 km/s.



Once again, there was no opportunity for boarding with yet more Centauri ships closing in, so the Expeditionary Force continued firing, while the Starfuries regrouped close to their motherships. The last two Primus were not out of the fight though and inflicted eleven strength-6 hits on Acheron. The destroyer was unlucky as several hits struck weak areas of her armour, resulting in three penetrations of over eighty percent and a fourth over seventy. Further lucky strikes would be very dangerous to the 78,000 ton warship. The Primus class cruisers lasted another ten seconds before they were obliterated  by the Omega class destroyers.

There was no time for rest and respite as a third wave of fifteen Centauri ships was only half a million kilometres away. The three Krakens were the primary target, with each one targeted by an Omega class destroyer, followed by the four Vorchans which were targeted by the Hyperions. The fourth Omega targeted the single Amar class escort cruiser while the frigates targeted the sole Sulust. The six Mograths would be attacked by Starfuries. Even if the imminent wave was defeated, another wave comprising four Primus, two Demons and three Amar class ships was sixty million kilometres out, with potentially even more waves that had yet to enter sensor range.

As the Centauri ships approached weapon range, the Expeditionary Force advanced to meet them. The Centauri were in two sub-groups, about 50,000 km apart, so the main body headed toward the closer group, while the Starfuries split into two group so they could target all the Mograth class ships. The Kraken class light cruisers picked off three Starfuries at long range, while the heavy lasers and pulse cannon of the Omegas inflicted only minimal damage.



The Starfuries came in firing, scoring over eighty hits on the first three Mograth from 42,000 km followed by four hundred more between 12,000 and 25,000 km. One Starfury was hit and destroyed on the way in, with a second crippled and dead in space. The Centauri interceptor turrets were intended to counter missiles at point blank range and were struggling to hit the fast-moving fighters beyond minimum range. The Alliance capital ships came in behind the fighters, firing particle beams and pulse cannon at the Krakens and Vorchans.

The three Krakens fired on the frigate Themis, scoring twelve strength-6 hits. A single hit penetrated her armour and disabled one of her two Beigie-Bryant-550 Particle Thrust Engines. As the frigate was reduced to half speed, Captain Phoenix ordered the ship to withdraw to AX Microscopii. The Omegas returned fire with their heavy laser cannon, scoring fourteen hits on the Krakens, six of which penetrated their armour. A Starfury was targeted by three different enemy ships and blown to pieces but the rest flew straight through the closest Centauri formation strafing three Mograth until they all exploded. The Centauri were unable to handle the agile Starfuries, so Captain Phoenix was determined to make the best possible use of her fighters until the Centauri developed more effective weapons or a better anti-fighter doctrine.

Acheron was hit by four Centauri particle beams, none of which struck her armour weak spots, and the frigate Hestia suffered a single hit. Three Starfuries exploded in quick succession. Most of the Centauri ships were taking internal damage and a fourth Mograth blew up.



One of the Kraken class cruisers disintegrated under heavy pulse cannon fire from the Omega class destroyer Orion, then two Starfuries were destroyed by the Amar and a Mograth. The rest of the Starfuries took immediate revenge by destroying the last two Mograth. Two Kraken, the Amar, the Sulust and all four Vorchans remained in the fight, but it was a confused melee. Starfuries whirled through the streamers of atmosphere from Centauri warships, their pulse discharge cannon on continuous fire, while Alliance capital ships circled like wolves, directing accurate and deadly fire on to their outclassed opponents.



The Starfuries swarmed and destroyed a second Kraken then the frigate Hestia finished off the Sulust with her medium pulse cannon. Acheron and Roanoke moved to close range of the Amar and the last Kraken and opened fire with their heavy laser cannon, leaving only wreckage in their wake. The four Vorchan class frigates attacked Acheron with their particle beams, inflicting six strength-6 hits but missing the weakened areas of armour. That was the last offensive action of the Centauri third wave. One Vorchan was destroyed by the Hyperion class cruiser Amundsen and a second by her sister ship Lexington. The third was run down and destroyed by a group of Starfuries and the last was taken out by the heavy laser cannon of the destroyer Orion.

The massacre of the third wave was completed. The fourth wave, still sixty million kilometres away, had the same composition as the second wave; four 24,000-ton Primus class cruisers, two 24,000-ton Demos class cruisers and three 16,000-ton Amar class escort cruisers. The Expeditionary Force was still relatively intact, except for the loss of sixteen Starfuries and the detachment of the frigates Psyche and Themis, which were both sent home for repairs. The only significant concern was the weak spots in the armour of the Omega class destroyer Acheron. Captain Phoenix decided to hold her position. The Centauri seemed to be fanatical about defending their home system and were sending forces in piecemeal instead of forming a major attack force. If that continued, she wanted to be able to take maximum advantage. The Expeditionary Force remained close to the jump point while the Starfuries landed to refuel and resupply.

As the fourth wave moved within thirty million kilometres of the jump point, an identical fifth wave was detected at eighty million kilometres. When the shuttle reconnaissance mission had reached the orbit of Pi-3 Orionis IV, just nine days earlier, it had detected twenty Primus class ships and ten Demos class. Four of the former and two of the latter had been destroyed by the Expeditionary Force. Eight and four respectively were on sensors, which meant a further two waves equal to those currently approaching could still appear, not to mention nine Krakens, twenty-seven Amars and twenty-two Mograth still known to exist.



Given the number of waves that could potentially arrive, even the huge Omega class destroyers could eventually be worn down, especially with the massed particle beams of the Primus class cruisers. Captain Phoenix considered a new tactic, launching the Starfuries to engage outside shipboard weapon range and wear down the Centauri before the rest of the Expeditionary Force attacked. She was concerned about the potential losses if the Centauri could focus on the Starfuries without the distraction of the Alliance Capital Ships, or if they improved their anti-fighter doctrine, but if she was to try an unsupported strike, it was better to do so while the Starfuries were still strong in number.

Phoenix decided to launch the one hundred and sixty-eight remaining Starfuries when the Centauri were relatively close, so the capital ships could join the fight if needed. The thirteen particle beams of a Primus class cruiser were dangerous when used in anti-ship mode at medium to long-range, but with a recharge of twenty seconds they were less than ideal against fast-firing fighters at point blank range. The main threat would be the three Amar class ships, each armed with four fast-firing interceptors. Therefore, the initial fighter strike would target the Amars and then retarget to attack the Primus and Demos class ships.

When the nine Centauri warships moved within 1,250,000 km of the Expeditionary, Captain Phoenix gave the order to attack. The Starfuries headed toward the enemy at a closing speed of over 15,000 km/s. At 194,000 km, the Primus and Demos class cruisers opened fire, destroying four fighters. That was the one and only shot before the Starfuries reached their own firing range. The Amar opened fire at point-blank range, killing three more fighters, even as their armour disintegrated under a deluge of fire.

After just ten seconds of intense fire from the Starfuries, all three Amar class ships exploded. Eight more Starfuries were destroyed by the dying Amars and the recharged particle beams of the Primus and Demos class cruisers. The Starfuries came about to attack three of the four Primus class, although the disorder caused by the first attack would reduce their effectiveness. Approximately a quarter of the Starfuries managed to attack in the first pass, then the six Centauri cruisers suddenly and unexpectedly reversed course, taking them out of range of the Starfuries’ pulse discharge cannon. The fighters pursued, scoring more hits but not yet penetrating armour.

The cruisers continued their radical manoeuvres, reversing course once again to throw off the Starfuries and simultaneously destroying six fighters. The Starfuries continued to score hits, but at far lower rate than against the Amars and without any sign of atmosphere streaming. Losses were mounting, with twenty-one Starfuries lost in the attack so far. A third course reversal by the Centauri was less effective, as more fighters were adjusting to their tactics. Over two hundred hits in total were scored as the Starfuries strafed their targets, including the first signs of armour penetration. Ten seconds after the first tenuous streamer of atmosphere escaped a Centauri hull, the situation had changed radically. One Primus was dead in space, with a second reduced to one third speed. The Centauri particle beams recharged and five more fighters died. Moments later the two crippled Primus exploded.

The engagement was rapidly reaching its denouement. A third Primus exploded and the Starfuries focused their attention on the three undamaged ships; the last Primus and two Demos. The remaining Centauri ships were still dangerous though and another three Starfuries were destroyed as they closed in. The fighters strafed the enemy ships, inflicting minor internal damage and being rewarded by a strength-49 secondary explosion on one of the Demos class. The warship dropped to a speed of 860 km/s. The Expeditionary Force was closing in and only 400,000 km from the battle, but its presence was unnecessary. The crippled Demos exploded under heavy fire, followed by the last Primus, which killed two Starfuries before being blasted apart. The surviving Demos lasted only a few seconds more. The fourth wave, comprising two hundred thousand tons of Centauri warships, had been destroyed for the loss of thirty-one Starfuries. One hundred and thirty-seven remained.

However, another identical group of Centauri warships was at fifty million kilometres and closing. This time there was apparently no further wave beyond it. When the fifth wave moved within five million kilometres of the jump point, there was nothing else on sensors except a lone Covran class scout at sixty million kilometres. Captain Aella Phoenix decided to use a combined approach, sending the fighters in ahead of the capital ships, but only once the Expeditionary Force was at maximum weapons range. Another fighter strike was possible, but it would be weaker and therefore suffer heavier casualties. Using the capital ships was lower risk now that no further Centauri warships were in sight.

For this engagement, the four Omega class destroyers, Acheron, Agamemnon, Orion and Roanoke, the two Artemis class frigates, Hestia and Mnemosyne, and the one hundred and thirty-seven Starfuries would all focus on the four Primus class cruisers. The four Hyperions, Aegean, Amundsen, Lexington and Prometheus and the Hyperion-J Helios, would target the two Demos. The three Amar class escort cruisers would only be targeted once the larger ships were destroyed. In addition, the fighters were under orders to retreat to their motherships once the Primus class were all eliminated. The capital ships would then handle the Amars.

The two sides exchanged fire with the Centauri 227,000 km from the Expeditionary Force and 197,000 km from the advancing Starfuries. The Alliance tactical officers noticed an immediate difference in the Centauri targeting. In previous engagements, each Centauri warship had targeted a single fighter, possibly because their combat doctrine emphasised concentration of force and they had never encountered fighters before. That had now changed. Sixteen different fighters were targeted by the Centauri; three by each Primus and two by each Demos. Fortunately, the range was long and only four fighters were destroyed, but the improvement in Centauri tactics did not bode well for future fighter strikes. Long-range fire by the Omegas and Hyperions inflicted minimal armour damage on the Centauri.

Every Alliance ship fired its particle beams, then the Hyperions and the two frigates opened fire at 136,000 km with their medium pulse cannon, just as the Starfuries moved within their 50,000 km firing range. One hundred and fifty-four strength-1 impacts were registered across six targets. The Centauri suddenly reversed course, which increased the range to the Expeditionary force to 141,000 km and briefly took the Starfuries out of range. Even so, twenty-one strength-4 hits were scored by Alliance particle beams and thirty-seven strength-1 hits from the heavy pulse cannon of the Omegas.

The Centauri continued to run, opening the range to 147,000 km. Their decision to keep the range open proved to be effective as Acheron was battered by thirty-four strength-6 hits, two of which penetrated her armour. Fortunately, only minor systems were hit but the situation was concerning. Thirty percent of Acheron’s armour was destroyed, with holes in two locations and deep penetrations in half a dozen other places. Captain Phoenix considered ordering Acheron to break off, but the destroyer was one of her four most capable units and the Primus class cruisers had a twenty second recharge time. She decided to hold Acheron with the main formation for the moment.



Return fire by the heavy laser cannon on the Omegas and Hyperions inflicted only fourteen strength-5 hits in return. Even as Acheron was hit though, the fighters closed to 27,000 km and unleashed a devastating fire. Including the supporting medium pulse fire from the Alliance cruisers and frigates, there were over two hundred and fifty strength-1 impacts on just six targets, including minor armour penetrations on four of those targets. The fighter attack seemed to change the Centauri tactics as they reversed course again, which successfully evaded some of the Starfuries, but allowed the Expeditionary Force to close to 100,000 km. The Amar class ships opened fire on those fighters that managed to follow the Centauri manoeuvres, shooting down six. Like the Primus cruisers, the Amar were now splitting their fire. Return fire from the Starfuries in range and Alliance particle beams from the capital ships focused on the four Primus ships, inflicting over forty strength-4 hits and two hundred strength-1. One Primus was particularly hard hit and reduced to 860 km/s. As the battle was starting to turn in the Alliance’s favour, Captain Phoenix ordered Acheron to break off and head toward the jump point.

The crippled Primus was destroyed by swarming Starfuries, then the three Amar class cruisers fired again and killed six more fighters. The fighters quickly gained their revenge by destroying two more Primus class cruisers. The Demos class cruisers were already taking internal hits from the Hyperions and the last Primus was damaged, so Captain Phoenix saw no point in exposing the fighters to more losses. All Starfuries were ordered to land on their motherships.

The last surviving Primus and the two Demos fired on the destroyer Agamemnon, scoring twelve strength-6 hits with their particle beams. Two struck in the same location, penetrating more than halfway through the thick armour belt. Return fire from the Hyperions and the Artemis class frigate caused internal damage to all three Centauri cruisers. The three Amar class escort cruisers had only short-ranged weapons, so they were not a threat outside point-blank range. Even so, the Omega class destroyers changed targets to the Amars leaving the damaged ships to the Alliance cruisers.

Another Alliance volley left a Demos and the last Primus dead in space, with the second Demos reduced to 860 km/s. Captain Phoenix decided to launch boarding operations against all three ships, while concentrating all fire on the Amars. That left the potential for the Centauri cruisers to inflict further damage, but the Expeditionary Force would pull out of range once the Amars were destroyed. Breaching pods from Agamemnon, Orion, and Roanoke all successfully landed marine raiders on the three cruisers.

An Amar exploded under heavy fire, then the Primus and the Demos fired again, despite their crippled engines. Agamemnon suffered a further fourteen strength-6 hits, none of which hit the weak spot in her armour. Twenty seconds later, the cruisers fired again, this time on the frigate Hestia. The frigate, which already had damaged armour, took eleven hits, one of which penetrated and disabled her interceptor turret. Captain Phoenix just hoped the capture of one or more Centauri ships would be worth the damage being taken by her ships without returning fire. There was also the chance the Centauri would fire on their own captured ships. Hestia took two more hits, one of which penetrated her armour and destroyed one of her three reactors, before the fleet was finally out of range. The last two Amar were destroyed almost as an afterthought as the Expeditionary Force pulled back from the battle area.

There were three crippled Centauri ships remaining; a Primus with ten functional particle beams and two Demos, each with three particle beams. Marine raiding forces were on all three ships. One of the Demos was retreating at 860 km/s, but the other two ships were motionless 25,000 km apart. The only other ship on sensors was the scout at sixty million kilometres. Captain Phoenix ordered Hestia to transit into AX Microscopii and head for home, but retained Acheron at the jump point for the moment. Two Omegas, two Hyperions and two frigates were dispatched from Sol, leaving only a similar-size force, plus the police cutters, to defend Earth.

The boarding engagements on the three Centauri cruisers were proving very difficult. The Marine Raiding Forces were already understrength due to the losses suffered when boarding ships in AX. Now they were faced with ships of 24,000 tons, three times the size of the ships captured previously and with much larger crews. Casualties were high, especially on the Primus. Captain Phoenix considered sending reinforcements, but the single breaching pod would have to survive the particle beam fire from the crippled ships, which was very unlikely.

Ten minutes after the start of the boarding action, the situation on the Primus was deteriorating fast. The 8th Marine Raiding Force had lost a quarter of its number in AX Microscopii as a result of boarding a ship moving at 2600 km/s. Now that same force was down to thirty-four marines, from its original seventy-seven. The officers were dead and only three light machine gunners remained. While they were still in the fight, their numbers were dwindling and the senior Sergeant did not believe they could complete the capture of the ship. Captain Phoenix ordered the Expeditionary Force to move to 205,000 km from the crippled cruiser, where the Omegas and Hyperions could engage outside the Centaurii particle beam range. Phoenix was concerned that if the nearby Demos was captured, the Primus would open fire and destroy the ship. In that case, if the marines could not secure the ship, both the Primus and the Demos would be lost to the Alliance.

Captain Phoenix let the combat run for another minute, during which marines on the Primus lost another four of their number, including a light machine gunner, and killed fifteen crew. Given the Primus probably had a crew in the high hundreds, that was not a winning situation. Phoenix was faced with a terrible decision. She was a capable and intelligent officer and knew what she had to do for the long-term benefit of the Alliance. Even if the marines were almost certainly going to die anyway, when they were overwhelmed by the Centauri crew, it was still the most difficult order of her career when she told the fleet to open fire. Due to the long range, it took thirty seconds for the heavy laser cannon and heavy pulse cannon to destroy the already crippled ship and the thirty EarthForce marines.

One minute after the destruction of the Primus, the crippled Demos was secured by the 7th Marine Raiding Force. Destroying the Primus had saved their lives and secured the Demos for the Alliance. As suspected, the Demos was a jump cruiser, armed with three particle beams and capable of jumping four ships of up to 24,000 tons. Like all Centauri warships, it had a top speed of 5161 km/s and longer range than Alliance ships. The Centauri particle beams were more powerful and slightly larger than the EarthForce equivalent, although slower firing and with the same range. Thirty seconds later, the second Demos was also secured, this time by the 2nd Marine Raiding Force.

Demos class Jump Cruiser      23,977 tons       630 Crew       3,831.7 BP       TCS 480    TH 2,475    EM 0
5161 km/s    JR 4-100      Armour 4-74       Shields 0-0       HTK 122      Sensors 12/18/0/0      DCR 12      PPV 24
Maint Life 0.78 Years     MSP 1,198    AFR 383%    IFR 5.3%    1YR 1,535    5YR 23,028    Max Repair 1199 MSP
Captain    Control Rating 3   BRG   AUX   ENG   
Intended Deployment Time: 12 months    Morale Check Required   

J24000(4-100) Military Jump Drive     Max Ship Size 24000 tons    Distance 100k km     Squadron Size 4
Ion Drive  EP412.5 (6)    Power 2475.0    Fuel Use 55.05%    Signature 412.5    Explosion 10%
Fuel Capacity 2,050,000 Litres    Range 28 billion km (62 days at full power)

Particle Beam-6 (3)    Range 200,000km     TS: 5,161 km/s     Power 15-4    ROF 20       
Beam Fire Control R256-TS4000 (3)     Max Range: 256,000 km   TS: 4,000 km/s     96 92 88 84 80 77 73 69 65 61
Gas-Cooled Fast Reactor R4 (3)     Total Power Output 12.8    Exp 5%

Active Search Sensor AS66-R100 (1)     GPS 10800     Range 66.7m km    Resolution 100
Thermal Sensor TH2-12 (1)     Sensitivity 12     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  27.4m km
EM Sensor EM3-18 (1)     Sensitivity 18     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  33.5m km

With the area around the jump point secure for the moment and no more Centauri warships on sensors, there was finally time to assess the situation. Three Artemis class frigates were damaged and heading back to Sol for repair. The Omega class destroyer Acheron had substantial armour damage, while her sister ship Agamemnon and the Hyperion class cruiser Aegean had moderate and minor damage respectively. Sixty-three Starfuries had been destroyed, slightly more than a third of the starting strike group, but they had proved their worth in battle. One hundred and twenty-nine marines had been killed in action, including the whole of the 8th Marine Raiding Force.

Within a few days, the Expeditionary force had destroyed or captured sixty-one Centauri ships, totalling over nine hundred thousand tons, and secured the entry jump point to the Centauri home system, The standout performer was the Omega class destroyer Orion, which had destroyed 87,000 tons of Centauri ships directly and a further 160,000 tons with her Starfury strike group. Roanoke and her strike group destroyed 64,000 and 96,000 tons respectively. The Expeditionary Force was extremely fortunate that the Centauri charged in so recklessly, rather than gathering a larger force, but Captain Aella Phoenix managed to take full advantage and defeat the Centauri in detail. A new award, the Centauri Campaign Medal, was inaugurated and awarded to all officers involved in the campaign in AX and Pi-3 Orionis. Captain Aella Phoenix was awarded the Alliance Star for her command success and to remove any concern regarding the loss of the 8th Marine Raiding Force.

For now, the Expeditionary Force would remain at the jump point, including the damaged Acheron, and await reinforcements from Earth. At that point the damaged ships would return home. The fleet also needed fuel and fresh maintenance supplies, the latter in particular as the long battle had required the use of existing supplies to prevent weapon failures. There was still one immediate concern however. A Centauri Covran class scout was still holding position at sixty million kilometres from the jump point. Captain Phoenix ordered the cruiser Prometheus to dispatch her ten Starfuries to eliminate the distant watcher. The scout was unarmed and quickly blown to pieces by the fighters.

Two days after the end of the battle, a new Centauri fleet appeared. This would be far more challenging as the force comprised eight Primus class cruisers, four Demos class cruisers and six Amar class escort cruisers; almost four hundred thousand tons of warships and twice as large as any previous wave. With one hundred and sixteen particle beams in the approaching fleet and an improved anti-fighter doctrine, the Centauri could inflict considerable damage. Acheron was in no shape to fight another major engagement, which means the Expeditionary Force had an effective tonnage of approximately 460,000. Agamemnon and Aegean also had existing armour damage. The first reinforcements were at least ten days away. Captain Phoenix was not sure her battered ships would win the next battle and even if they did the damage would be considerable. If she transited back into AX Microscopii and the Centauri followed, that would provide some initial advantage, but if they did not then the Alliance gave up the strategic initiative. She had four hours to decide before the Centauri arrived at the jump point.

« Last Edit: December 17, 2020, 06:33:59 PM by Steve Walmsley »
 

Offline Steve Walmsley (OP)

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Re: Earth Alliance Updates Thread
« Reply #2 on: December 20, 2020, 09:10:47 AM »
Based on the reconnaissance of the Centauri home world, the approaching force included all the known Primus and Demos class cruisers, although nine particle beam-armed Kraken class were still unaccounted for. Destroying the approaching force would therefore eliminate most of the remaining heavy combat ships of the Centauri Fleet. The commander of EarthForce, Admiral Harrison Tyler, and the head of the EarthForce Space Corps, Vice Admiral Theseus Argos, jointly instructed Captain Aella Phoenix to destroy the Centauri fleet, regardless of the cost to her own force. The Alliance possessed another undamaged fleet equal to the Expeditionary Force, so if the Centauri navy was crippled, even in a battle of mutual annihilation, the Alliance would very likely prevail in the war.

Captain Phoenix decided to move her force away from the jump point, then let the Centauri slowly catch her as she reversed course and retreated. The Omegas and Hyperions would be able to fire a couple of unanswered volleys at long range before the Centauri entered particle beam range. At that point, the fleet and all fighters would charge toward the Centauri for a close range engagement. The exception would be Acheron, which would fight from longer range in an attempt to avoid incoming fire. Only four Primus would be initially targeted by the whole fleet in an attempt to take them out quickly, before targeting the remaining four Primus, followed by the Demos class cruisers and the Amars.

As the Centauri approached, the Expeditionary Force began moving toward the jump point. Two long-range salvos scored six strength-3 hits and eleven strength-1 hits; only minimal damage but with no risk involved. With the Centauri at 204,000 km, every ship except Acheron charged toward the Centauri. Unfortunately, the Centauri ignored the closer ships and targeted Acheron, scoring thirty-five strength-6 hits. Despite the existing damage to her armour only four shots penetrated, causing damage to the hangar and engineering decks. Alliance particle beams registered twenty-two strength-4 hits on the Centauri.

Despite the uneven first exchange, the Expeditionary Force now had twenty seconds before the Centauri particle beams recharged. The medium pulse cannon on the Hyperions and the frigate Mnemosyne fired at 111,000 km, causing minor armour damage. The Centauri reversed course, so the Alliance heavy laser cannon and particle beams fired at 117,000 kms, inflicting fourteen strength-6 and thirty-one strength-4 hits that caused armour penetration on three targets. That was followed by heavy pulse cannon from the Omegas as the range opened to 123,000 km and the first attack by the Starfuries, which had closed to 28,000 km. Almost three hundred energy impacts were detected, with multiple armour breaches on all four targets.

Acheron was holding back at 184,000 km. Despite that, the Centauri targeted her once again and scored thirty-two strength-6 hits. This time the damage was more serious. She lost a heavy laser cannon, an interceptor turret, a fire control and several other systems. Captain Phoenix ordered her to run for the jump point. The Centauri initially reversed course to stay in range of Acheron, then turned to starboard as the main fleet drew closer. The six Amar class ships targeted the Starfuries as they closed to point-blank range, destroying twelve within a few seconds. As the enemy was improving its anti-fighter tactics, Phoenix ordered the Starfuries to stay outside point blank range. This reduced their effectiveness but otherwise the Amars would be killing a dozen fighters every few seconds.

The heavy lasers of the Omega class destroyers recharged every twenty seconds, while the heavy pulse cannon required fifteen seconds and the particle beams ten seconds. Once per minute they all fired together. The first combined volley in the engagement from the three remaining Omegas inflicted considerable internal damage on two Primus class cruisers. Even so, the firepower of the Centauri force was still massive. The destroyer Agamemnon was rocked by sixty-seven strength-6 hits from Centauri particle beams. Her armour was seriously damaged, including a single breach. The frigate Mnemosyne was hit four times. Agamemnon struck back by destroying a Primus with particle beam fire. Orion destroyed a second and Roanoke opened fire on a third Primus with her interceptor turrets from just 22,000 km.

Captain Phoenix ordered the fighters to pursue two wounded Primus that were retreating while the capital ships concentrated on the main body of the Centauri force. The Starfuries ran down one Primus and destroyed it, while Roanoke and the cruiser Lexington destroyed two more targets with multiple strength-16 hits from their heavy laser cannon. Three Primus, four Demos and six Amar remained. Half the fighters returned to attack the main body and failed to anticipate a new course reversal, resulting in twelve Starfuries being destroyed by interceptor fire from the Amar class escort cruisers. Agamemnon destroyed another Primus, using her heavy laser cannon at almost point blank range. The two fleets were so close together that the Alliance warships were using their interceptor turrets in offensive mode. The Centauri were making course changes to throw off the fighters, rather than their earlier tactic of opening the range.

The range became too short when the Expeditionary Force strayed into the 20,000 km range of the interceptor turrets on the Amar class escort cruisers. Agamemnon took fifteen strength-6 hits and one hundred and four strength-1 hits. Her already battered armour was pierced in multiple places. She lost two particle beams and suffered damage to her hangar bay. The frigate Mnemosyne suffered six more hits, but maintained armour integrity. Her return fire, using medium pulse cannon, particle beams and her interceptor turret destroyed a Primus. As only one crippled Primus remained, Captain Phoenix ordered Agamemnon to break off and head for the jump point. The rest of the Expeditionary Force began opening the range to the four Demos and six Amar in the main body.

The Starfuries ran down and destroyed the last Primus, then the cruiser Aegean obliterated a Demos with heavy laser cannon, particle beams, medium pulse cannon and even her short-ranged plasma cannon. Aegean scored a second kill ten seconds later as she switched targets to second Demos, already badly damaged. The Centauri continued to fight back, but the two surviving Demos had only six particle beams between them, which they used to score five hits on Orion, and the six Amar had only short-ranged weapons. With the battle close to over, Captain Phoenix ordered the ninety-seven surviving Starfuries to stay out of combat.

Roanoke used her heavy pulse cannon to destroy a third Demos, then Orion eliminated the last one with a combination of heavy lasers and particle beams. The six Amar could do nothing but run. They were faster than the pursuing Alliance capital ships, but they were at 100,000 km when the last Demos was destroyed. By the time they reached 123,000 km one was destroyed and a second reduced to half speed. By 164,000 km, they were down to three ships. One Amar made it beyond 200,000 km, before suffering an engine hit.

The battle had been much harder than previous engagements, with both Acheron and Agamemnon no longer combat effective, twenty-four Starfuries lost and the frigate Mnemosyne requiring armour repair. Even so, Captain Aella Phoenix had won another famous victory. The Centauri still had some warships, but all their largest ships had been destroyed, at least those known to Alliance Intelligence. Another Covran class scout was lurking at sixty million kilometres, observing the battle. Phoenix dispatched Starfuries to eliminate it, but the scout withdrew from sensor range. Two days after the battle, a Dionysus class replenishment ship arrived in Pi-3 Orionis, allowing the Expeditionary Force to refuel and resupply. Acheron and Agamemnon remained with the fleet for the moment, awaiting the arrival of reinforcements.

On November 11th, four days after the battle, one of the two Demos class ships captured in the earlier battles, was slowly heading through AX Microscopii to Sol, when she detected a Centauri Altarian class gravitational survey ship. Agamemnon launched four Starfuries, which entered the stabilised jump point and headed for the survey ship. The fighters intercepted the survey ship four hours after launch and maintained fire until it was dead in space. While the fighters maintained a watch over the crippled ship, Agamemnon dispatched her breaching pod with the 2nd Marine Raiding Force. Even though the raiding force had taken a dozen casualties in previous engagements, it was still strong enough to board and capture the 16,000 ton ship, taking only three casualties in the brief engagement.



With no sign of further Centauri activity, the destroyers Acheron and Agamemnon, which would soon return to Sol, began picking up life pods from the Alliance Starfuries and the wrecked Centauri ships. All the Centauri survivors were interrogated and provided several useful pieces of intelligence, including full survey information on the Pi-3 Orionis system. The only planet with minerals was the Centauri home world, known to the Centauri as Centauri Prime, which had deposits of all eleven trans-Newtonian elements, although mostly in small quantities.  The system had four jump points in total, including the connection to AX Microscopii. The Centauri survivors provided details of the system beyond the outermost jump point, which led to 76 Ophiuchi, a planetless red dwarf system. The interrogations also provided details of three different Centauri active sensors plus technical information on heavy vehicle armour and heavy autocannon technology

Centauri Prime Survey Report
Duranium:   214,323   1.00
Neutronium:   144,429   0.40
Corbomite:   171,591   0.90
Tritanium:   173,494   0.60
Boronide:   34,059   0.80
Mercassium:   64,962   0.50
Vendarite:   53,691   0.90
Sorium:   57,159   0.80
Uridium:   40,462   0.50
Corundium:   156,262   0.50
Gallicite:   63,323   1.00



There was still no sign of further Centauri forces and the reinforcements would arrive within a day, so the Omega class destroyers Acheron and Agamemnon, the Hyperion class cruiser Aegean and the only remaining frigate, Mnemosyne, departed Pi-3 Orionis bound for Earth. All had armour damage that required a shipyard for repairs. The reinforcements transited into the system sixteen hours later, including the Omega class destroyers Alexander and Apollo, the Hyperion class cruisers Astraeus and Hyperion and the Artemis class frigates Aphrodite and Artemis. That gave the expeditionary force a total of four Omegas, six Hyperions, including the jump-capable Helios, and two frigates. The departing ships left their Starfuries behind, which brought the remaining ships up to strength, except for Roanoke, which had a strike group of thirty-one instead of thirty-six. Orion had minor armour damage, but otherwise the force was completely intact.

Despite the constant battles with the Centauri, life continued elsewhere in the Alliance. On November 12th 2250 a colony of 500,000 was established on Proxima II, an Earth-sized with good potential for terraforming and a sizeable deposit of accessible Neutronium.

Proxima II Survey Report
Neutronium:   7,952,400   0.80
Corbomite:   230,400   0.10
Tritanium:   8,643,600   0.10
Vendarite:   90,000   0.10
Corundium:   1,587,600   0.10

By November 28th, the Expeditionary Force was refuelled and resupplied. Helios was detached to act as a jump point picket, while the rest of the fleet headed for the Centauri home world, approximately eight hundred and forty million kilometres from the jump point. Once the planet was within sensor range, the intelligence officers within the Expeditionary Force compared the forces in orbit to those detected a month earlier. A number of ships were absent, including six Amar class escort cruisers, nine Mograth class escorts, three 16,800-ton Darkner class, three 74,000 ton Decurions and six 162,000 ton Octurions. The only known warships still in orbit were nine Kraken class light cruisers, nine Amar and thirteen Mograth.



Captain Aella Phoenix decided to close to 205,000 km from the planet, just outside the range of the Kraken’s particle beams, and open fire on the light cruisers. Each Alliance capital ship locked on to a different Kraken as the fleet approached its target. There was also the possibility of ground-based anti-ship weapons, so Phoenix wanted to find out what she was facing before moving any closer. With the fleet still 400,000 km from the planet, every Centauri ship, except eight 16,000-ton Haven class, suddenly broke orbit and headed toward the Expeditionary Force. The movement allowed the Alliance tactical officers to scan their engine output. Apart from the known warships, every Centauri design had commercial engines.



Given the previous reckless aggression, Captain Phoenix believed it could be some form of mass suicide attack, although difficult to execute given that only the warships were faster than her own ships. The alternatives would be to remain in orbit and be picked off by heavy laser cannon and heavy pulse cannon, or run from the planet and be hunted down anyway. The known warships remained with the commercial ships, perhaps acting as escorts, which meant the different speeds of the commercial ships was splitting up the warships. Phoenix decided to maintain a 210,000 km distance to the group that included the closest Kraken class light cruisers and instructed her ships to fire on any ships at that distance or less.

The change in course was too late and the Krakens moved within 190,000 km, scoring seven strength-6 hits on Orion. Phoenix decided on a change in tactics. Given her massive superiority in firepower, she decided to close to 180,000 km, staying out of range of the other groups, and fight it out with the closest Krakens. Two were destroyed and the third left dead in space. Orion suffered a further twenty hits. The Expeditionary Force held its position, firing on the mass of commercial ships as they surged toward. Twenty-six Vorchar and twenty-six Vasachi all died as they charged toward the Alliance warships, along with three Elutarians. A second group of Kraken moved into range, inflicting twenty-hits on Orion before being obliterated by heavy fire. Six Amars and nine Mograths were destroyed before they could close to their 20,000 km weapon range. The final group of three Kraken only managed thirteen further hits before they too were destroyed. The last of the Amars and Mograth were easily dispatched. Orion’s armour was holed in one location, with a second deep penetration, but she was still combat capable.

There were still a large number of commercial ships, now without any escorting warships and easy to avoid, so Captain Phoenix considered her options for boarding. Three Marine Raiding Forces were available, the 3rd, 4th and 7th, with the latter down to sixty-four Marines. She decided to launch operations against three different types of ships, A Balvarin, a Kitai and a Secundus, to determine their function and capabilities. She also sent a message to Earth, via Helios on the jump point, recommending that the Alliance improve its overall boarding capabilities, perhaps with a specialised type of ship.

The Balvarin and Kitai class ships were both fuel harvesters. The former was captured with the loss of seven marines and the latter with twelve casualties for the already depleted 7th Marine Raiding Force. The Secundus was an orbital mining ship with a larger crew. The 4th Marine Raiding Force lost twenty of its seventy-seven marines securing the ship, including both officers. There were nine more Secundus on sensors, along with forty-two fuel harvesters and twelve Dargan class ships of an unknown type. It seemed very unlikely that the one hundred and seventy-seven remaining marines could capture more than fraction of those ships.

Balvarin class Fuel Harvester      53,365 tons       258 Crew       917.3 BP       TCS 1,067    TH 600    EM 0
562 km/s      Armour 1-126       Shields 0-0       HTK 122      Sensors 0/0/0/0      DCR 1      PPV 0
MSP 10    Max Repair 40 MSP
Lieutenant Commander    Control Rating 1   BRG   
Intended Deployment Time: 3 months   
Fuel Harvester: 18 modules producing 864,000 litres per annum

Haug P200.00 Civilian Drive (3)    Power 600    Fuel Use 5.06%    Signature 200    Explosion 4%
Fuel Capacity 600,000 Litres    Range 40 billion km (823 days at full power)
Refuelling Capability: 60,000 litres per hour     Complete Refuel 10 hours

Kitai class Fuel Harvester      46,688 tons       248 Crew       903.5 BP       TCS 934    TH 600    EM 0
642 km/s      Armour 1-115       Shields 0-0       HTK 112      Sensors 0/0/0/0      DCR 1      PPV 0
MSP 12    Max Repair 46 MSP
Lieutenant Commander    Control Rating 1   BRG   
Intended Deployment Time: 3 months   
Fuel Harvester: 15 modules producing 720,000 litres per annum

Commercial Ion Drive  EP200.00 (3)    Power 600    Fuel Use 5.06%    Signature 200    Explosion 4%
Fuel Capacity 550,000 Litres    Range 41.9 billion km (754 days at full power)
Refuelling Capability: 60,000 litres per hour     Complete Refuel 9 hours
CIWS-160 (2x6)    Range 1000 km     TS: 16,000 km/s     ROF 5       

Secundus class Orbital Miner      44,722 tons       428 Crew       1,286.2 BP       TCS 894    TH 800    EM 0
894 km/s      Armour 1-112       Shields 0-0       HTK 79      Sensors 6/6/0/0      DCR 1      PPV 0
MSP 17    Max Repair 120 MSP
Lieutenant Commander    Control Rating 1   BRG   
Intended Deployment Time: 3 months   
Orbital Miner: 7 modules producing 98 tons per mineral per annum

Commercial Ion Drive  EP200.00 (4)    Power 800    Fuel Use 5.06%    Signature 200    Explosion 4%
Fuel Capacity 200,000 Litres    Range 15.9 billion km (205 days at full power)

Thermal Sensor TH1-6 (1)     Sensitivity 6     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  19.4m km
EM Sensor EM1-6 (1)     Sensitivity 6     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  19.4m km

After sending a report to Earth and receiving new instruction, Captain Phoenix sent the breaching pods to retrieve the marines from the three captured ships, which would require a couple of hours. In the meantime, her new orders were to eliminate the Centauri shipyards in orbit over Centauri Prime and capture one of the Dargan class ships. The other commercial-engined ships would be left alone for the moment. Once the Expeditionary Force began manoeuvres, it had become apparent that rather than charging the Alliance ships, they were trying to escape from the system from to avoid destruction. The only stabilised jump point lay beyond the Expeditionary Force. As the ships were no threat, they could be captured later.

The fleet closed to 205,000 km from the planet and opened fire on the large orbital shipyard complex with heavy laser cannon and heavy pulse cannon. Unfortunately, the long-range fire was ineffective due to the minimal damage and the ships were steadily consuming supplies to keep the weapons functioning. Phoenix decided to launch a strike with her one hundred and eight-nine Starfuries. Their target would be the shipyards, but a secondary purpose was to determine the armament, if any, of the eight 16,000-ton Haven class ships that remained in orbit and to check for the presence of surface-to-orbit- capable ground forces.

Within seconds of the fighters crossing the 200,000 km range limit, more than two hundred and fifty particle beams opened fire from the surface. Fortunately, due to the range, the speed of the fighters and the fact that several beams targeted each fighter, only a dozen fighters were hit and destroyed. Phoenix considering letting them attack anyway, relying on the fighters to inflict damage on the shipyards quickly enough to only face two or three more attacks. However, the casualties would still be very high, so she decided that the expenditure of supplies to keep her capital ships firing was a better option than losing pilots and crews. Regardless of success against the shipyards, the surface-based weapons would have to be eliminated as well or the Centauri would remain a threat. It was also noteworthy that the Haven class ships did not fire or more. Phoenix suspected they were bases armed with interceptor turrets, intended to defend the planet from missile attack.

She ordered the heavy laser cannon and heavy pulse cannon to open fire once again, although this time she targeted the ground-based particle beams. If those were destroyed, the shipyards would be easy targets. The STO units were difficult targets, but they were out-ranged by the Alliance weapons so the capital ships had plenty of time. Each Omega class destroyer, with six heavy laser cannon and six heavy pulse cannon, was killing only a single STO on average with each volley. The Hyperions could also contribute with their four heavy laser cannon. The Hyperion’s pulse cannon were the medium variant, with a range of 150,000 km and their particle beams, like those on the Omegas, had a range of 200,000 km, the same as their Centauri counterparts. While Captain Phoenix regretted that the collateral damage from the bombardment was killing several thousand civilians with each volley, she was also aware the Centauri had bombarded Alliance civilians on AX Microscopii I without any weapons being based at the colony.

After twelve minutes of continuous fire, with some ships burning through half their maintenance supplies, every Centauri surface-based particle beam was eliminated. The Expeditionary Force closed to 125,000 km without incident, confirming the destruction of the STO units and the probable function of the Haven class bases. With no opposition and increased weapon effectiveness at the reduced range, the fleet opened fire on the Havens and the orbital shipyards. A further four minutes of fire was sufficient to destroy everything in orbit of Centauri Prime.

There was still a huge population on the planet along with vast quantities of ground forces. The ground forces signature was almost a million tons. On the assumption they were well fortified, the real size of ground forces was likely to be somewhere between three and five million tons. The total size of the entire EarthForce Marine Corps was three hundred thousand tons. When planning its military build-up, the Alliance had not considered the potential for invading an entire planet with a larger population than Earth. That flaw would require many years to correct. In the meantime though, there was simply no serious option for mounting an invasion of Centauri Prime. While the orbital facilities had been destroyed and the surface-to-orbit capability eliminated, the planet was likely to have a significant industrial capacity and would able to replace those losses given sufficient time. There was also the question of the missing Centauri ships, including six Amar class escort cruisers and nine Mograth class escorts.

Until a long-term solution to the Centauri problem could be determined, the EarthForce Space Corps would need to monitor the planet and disrupt any attempts to rebuild Centauri forces. For now, the Expeditionary Force moved into orbit of Centauri Prime’s second moon, 364,000 km from the planet, while a Replenishment Ship was dispatched from Earth. The remaining Centauri commercial ships continued running towards the AX Microscopii jump point. Orion, which had significant armour damage, was detached to conduct search and rescue operations before heading back to Earth for repair.

As a result of the subsequent interrogation of the captured Centauri crews, detailed technical information on improved refuelling, trans-Newtonian cargo shuttles and heavy crew-served anti-personnel weapons was obtained. Survey data was acquired for 78 Ophiuchi, a brown dwarf system adjacent to Pi-3 Orionis. Neither of the two planets had a geological survey, but at least some gravitational survey work had been done by the Centauri as the system contained a single, unexplored jump point. The other known system adjacent to Pi-3 Orionis, revealed in the previous set of interrogations, was 76 Ophiuchi. The two stars had similar names because they were both in the constellation of Ophiuchus when viewed from Earth.

The three Marine Raiding Forces were recovered from the captured Centauri ships, then sent as a single force against a Dargan class ship. The ship only had a small crew and was chosen because it had been crippled by previous weapon fire. The marines captured the ship quickly, losing only a single Marine in the process. The Dargan was a small 33,000 ton terraformer, equipped with a single terraforming module. Captain Phoenix ordered the marines to conduct operations against further Dargan class ships, for as long as they retained combat effectiveness.

Dargan class Terraformer      33,040 tons       178 Crew       891.7 BP       TCS 661    TH 600    EM 0
908 km/s      Armour 1-91       Shields 0-0       HTK 44      Sensors 0/0/0/0      DCR 1      PPV 0
MSP 16    Max Repair 500 MSP
Lieutenant Commander    Control Rating 1   BRG   
Intended Deployment Time: 3 months   
Terraformer: 1 modules producing 0.0004 atm per annum

Commercial Ion Drive  EP200.00 (3)    Power 600    Fuel Use 5.06%    Signature 200    Explosion 4%
Fuel Capacity 150,000 Litres    Range 16.2 billion km (205 days at full power)
CIWS-160 (2x6)    Range 1000 km     TS: 16,000 km/s     ROF 5       

Given the ease with which the first ship was captured, the raiding forces each targeted a different ship. While this made each individual combat more difficult, it increased the speed of the overall process. The Marines could drop on to the enemy hulls almost instantly, but securing the ship, successfully docking the breaching pods to the alien ships and picking up the marines could take up to two hours. The Marines accomplished the task of capturing the other eleven Dargans in a little over twelve hours. Due to casualties, the 4th and 7th Raiding Forces started working together and the last ship was boarding by all three raiding forces. The overall loss rate in the operation with almost forty percent, with the 7th down to just twenty-one combat-capable Marines. The fuel harvesters and mining ships were left alone pending the arrival of reinforcements, so the breaching pods all returned to the motherships.

With the immediate combat completed, the destroyer Roanoke and the cruiser Amundsen were detached from the Expeditionary Force and sent back to Earth for resupply and overhaul, leaving the Expeditionary Force with a strength of two destroyers, four cruisers and two frigates. Meanwhile, back in Sol, Acheron, Agamemnon, Aegean and Mnemosyne arrived at Earth for their own resupply, overhaul and eventual repair. Those repairs would have to wait though until the necessary shipyards were available. The Rocketdyne Shipyard had two slipways for Omega class destroyers, which were occupied until June 2252 with the construction of the latest Omegas, Achilles and Zeus. The Neue Hanse Shipyard was building the Hyperions Pallas and Pegasus, which were due in April 2252, the same completion date as the two frigates being built by the Auricon Shipyard.

For the next 18 months, the EarthForce Space Corps would be significantly understrength. The Omega class destroyers, Acheron, Agamemnon and Orion, the Hyperion class cruiser Aegean and four of the eight Artemis class frigates would not be combat capable due to their severe armour damage, which left five Omegas, seven Hyperions and four frigates in active service, plus the two jump capable Hyperions, the two jump-capable Artemis class frigates and a dozen Tethys class police cutters. This force would need to monitor Centauri Prime, hunt down the surviving Centauri warships and, most importantly, provide security for Earth.

Offline Steve Walmsley (OP)

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Re: Earth Alliance Updates Thread
« Reply #3 on: December 27, 2020, 07:13:44 AM »
The Expeditionary Force in orbit of Centauri’s Prime second moon launched three Kestrel class shuttles, sending one toward each of the three outward jump points in search of Centauri forces. While they were still en route, the Centauri appeared in an unexpected place. The Hyperion-J Helios was still picketing the Pi-3 Orionis – AX Microscopii jump point and acting as a jump-capable escort for any ships entering the system. Because of the size requirements of her jump drive, her sensor suite was less capable than a standard Hyperion and therefore she only detected an approaching Centauri squadron when they moved within twenty-four million kilometres. The eight Centauri ships, including four Vorchan class frigates, three Mograth class escorts and a Sulust, suspected to be a jump-capable class, had never been previously detected.



Helios was armed with two heavy laser cannon, two medium pulse cannon and two interceptor turrets. She had no fighter group. The Vorchans each had three particle beams and the Sulust had one. The nearest help for Helios was the Expeditionary Force, which was eight hundred and forty million kilometres away. The destroyer Roanoke and the cruiser Amundsen were in AX Microscopii, a billion kilometres from the jump point and heading for Earth. They immediately reversed course and headed back toward the Pi-3 Orionis jump point. The Expeditionary Force detached the Omega class destroyers Alexander and Apollo to watch Centauri Prime and also moved toward the jump point. Helios was preparing to jump and fight a desperate jump point defence, when the eight alien ships reversed course, apparently on course for the 78 Ophiuchi jump point, and soon thereafter vanished from sensors.

With evidence of active Centauri warships, the situation had changed. Despite the removal of the immediate threat, Admiral Tyler decided the Expeditionary Force needed to hunt down the Centauri to avoid any other near-disasters. Alexander and Apollo would remain near Centauri Prime, as the Omegas had the firepower to take out threats at the Centauri home world without exposing themselves to fire. The four Hyperions and two frigates of the Expeditionary Force would rendezvous with Helios, Roanoke and Amundsen at the jump point. After detaching a picket, that force would then actively seek out any remaining Centauri ships.

The nine Centauri Secundus class orbital mines transited into AX with Roanoke and Amundsen only twelve million kilometres from the jump point. The police cutter Tethys was also approaching from her station at the colony on the first planet. The Secundus headed directly away from the Alliance capital ships, so the senior officer in AX, Captain Danya Krylov of the Amundsen, ordered the cutter to pursue the mining ships while he took Roanoke and Amundsen back into Pi-3 Orionis. Tethys closed on the miners and opened fire with her light pulse cannon in an attempt to force a surrender, but with no success. She ceased fire and began shadowing the ships. After moving a hundred million kilometres from the jump point, the nine ships suddenly split into two groups and headed in different directions.



If they continued on the same courses, Tethys could not keep track of both groups. Therefore her captain sought permission to destroy the Centauri ships. Each Secundus had seven mining modules. While it would be useful to capture the ships, the required marine raiding forces that would not be available for some time and the total mining capacity of the Centauri fleet was less than five percent of current Alliance mining capacity. Therefore permission was given to engage. She attacked the group of five ships first. Two surrendered after taking internal damage, while the other three tried to run until they were destroyed. The second group was more belligerent, trying to ram when Tethys approached. The cutter held the range open and systematically obliterated all four.

At the Pi-3 Orionis – AX Microscopii jump point, the Expeditionary Force completed refuelling from a newly arrived Dionysus class replenishment ship, although was unable to complete restock its maintenance supplies. After detaching the cruiser Hyperion and the frigates Aphrodite and Artemis to picket the jump point, the fleet set course for the 78 Ophiuchi jump point, which was the last assumed destination of the Centauri fleet. The jump cruiser Helios accompanied the Expeditionary Force, which now comprised the Omega class destroyer Roanoke and the Hyperion class cruisers Amundsen, Astraeus, Lexington and Prometheus. The Alliance’s second jump cruiser Selene, had arrived in Pi-3 Orionis and would remain with the picket force. The Omega class destroyers Alexander and Apollo maintained their watch over Centauri Prime.

The twenty-five Balvarin and seventeen Kitai class Centauri fuel harvesters transited into AX Microscopii. The frigate Aphrodite followed them to monitor their movements, but they remained on the jump point. Two days later, a new Centauri squadron, comprising a stabilisation ship escorted by a Kraken, an Amar and a Mograth, moved into sensor range of the picket force on the Pi-3 Orionis - AX Microscopii jump point. A single Starfury was sent into AX to monitor the stationary fuel harvesters, so that Aphrodite could re-join the picket force. Hyperion, Selene, Aphrodite and Artemis advanced to engage the Centauri squadron.

As the Kraken was the main threat, all four Alliance warships targeted the light cruiser. However, as the Centauri warships were staying with the slow-moving stabilisation ship, the commander of the Alliance picker force, Captain Magda Rosenthal of the Selene, decided to shadow the enemy from 210,000 km and use the heavy lasers of Hyperion and her own ship. As soon as the Kraken lost an engine, the short engagement was effectively over. The Alliance ships stayed outside Centauri range and picked off all four ships.

By late December 2250, the three Kestrel class shuttles dispatched by the Expeditionary Force had all arrived within active sensor range of the three outward jump points in Pi-3 Orionis. There was no sign of any Centauri contacts. The shuttles would remain on station to monitor any traffic.

To facilitate the capture of the Centauri fuel harvesters that were still stationed at the Pi-3 Orionis jump point in AX Microscopii, the strikegroup of the Hyperion class cruiser Trafalgar, located in Earth orbit, was off-loaded to make room for four breaching pods, containing the 1st, 2nd, 5th and 6th Marine Raiding Forces. The latter two forces were at full strength, while the first two had fifty and sixty-two marines respectively. Trafalgar entered AX and took up position near the forty-two fuel harvesters. The marines began the long process of securing the harvesters, using two raiding forces per ship.

Meanwhile, the First Expeditionary Force reached the 78 Ophiuchi jump point in Pi-3 Orionis. They were about to jump point when the Centauri force of eight frigate-sized ships appeared at the edge of sensor range. Rather than scare them off, Captain Aella Phoenix held position in the hope they would move into weapon range. However, they began retreating after detecting the Alliance ships, just as they did at the AX jump point. Phoenix ordered her sixty-six Starfuries to launch immediately and give chase while the fleet followed, trying to stay in sensor range. The Centauri ships appeared to be on course for only remaining unexplored jump point in the system.



As the Centauri were on the edge of sensor range and had a speed advantage, Phoenix was concerned they would escape, so the fighters set a course that would take them ahead of the enemy ships. Just as the Centauri were about to leave detection range, they reacted to the presence of the fighters, which the active sensor on the Mograth class could detect at fourteen million kilometres. The Centauri changed course, remaining within sensor range of the Roanoke, as the fighters closed in. The four Vorchan and the Sulust opened fire with ten particle beams at 192,0000 km, but did not score hits. The Centauri moved away from the Starfuries, so the Alliance fighters set an intercept course. The particle beams fired again at 33,000 km, destroying five Starfuries. In return, the fighters scored ninety strength-1 hits, split between the three Mograth class escorts.



The fighters fired again a few seconds later, with a most unexpected result. All eight Centauri ships stopped dead in space and signalled their surrender. The three Mograths had substantial armour damage and one had lost its interceptor turret, but otherwise all their weapons were intact. Captain Centauri hailed the fleet to accept their surrender, but also to ask why they had surrendered given the suicidal bravery of previous Centauri attacks. The answer was simple. They had run out of fuel. The Centauri harvesters had fled into AX and their home world was under siege, so they had no source of supply. Prize crews were quickly sent to the eight ships and a replenishment ship was sent from Earth. The remaining Starfuries returned to the Expeditionary Force. It was January 1st 2251. A great start to the New Year.

Sixteen hours after the surrender, sensor emissions from a Kraken class light cruiser were detected fifty-four million kilometres from the Pi-3 Orionis – AX Microscopii jump point. The jump point picket comprised the jump cruiser Selene, the cruiser Hyperion, the frigates Aphrodite and Artemis and the recently arrived police cutter Phobos. Given the 1371 km/s speed of the contact, it was most likely a Kraken escorting a stabilisation ship, along with an Amar and a Mograth.



The jump point picket squadron headed straight for the contact and soon confirmed the composition of the Centauri Stabilisation Squadron. The fleet held at long range while the two Hyperions picked off the Kraken with their heavy laser cannon, then moved into closer to destroy the other three ships. On this occasion there were no surrenders. The picket squadron commander, Captain Magda Rosenthal, considered a boarding operation, but the only available forces were the marine raiding forces mounting operations against Centauri fuel harvesters in AX. They were already taking casualties and the fuel harvesters had been deemed the priority for the limited number of marines.

The Expeditionary Force returned to the 78 Ophiuchi jump point after the distraction of the surrendered Centauri squadron. Roanoke, Helios and Amundsen went through in a squadron jump in case a hostile Centauri force was on the far side. The only ship detected was a Centurion class, which was believed to be a Centauri diplomatic ship, which raised the question of why it was stationed in 78 Ophiuchi. The Centurion immediately headed away from the arriving squadron, so a pair of Starfuries were dispatched to run it down. The force had no marines, so the Starfuries strafed the Centurion until it exploded. With no other sign of Centauri forces near the jump point, a shuttle was dispatched toward the only two planets in the system; a gas giant and a terrestrial world with five moons, both huddled close to the faint brown dwarf star.

The shuttle detected a Rutarian class survey ship in orbit of the gas giant. Captain Phoenix ordered the shuttle to shadow the survey ship until the Expeditionary Force could move close enough to launch a fighter strike. The survey ship was still conducting its mission when it was blown to pieces by a lone Starfury. The shuttle picked up the survivors, then both small craft headed back to the fleet. It was possible there were Centauri gravitational survey ships in the system, but they would be much harder to find. For now, the Expeditionary Force would return Pi-3 Orionis and move to the unexplored jump point that lay between the jump points to 76 and 78 Ophiuchi.

On January 9th 2251, a small colony of 300,000 was established on the second moon of Centauri Prime to act as a base for Alliance warships. The Omega class destroyers Alexander and Apollo were already in orbit, so the colony would provide recreational facilities. Ground-based defences were provided by the 5th Marine Regiment, which comprised two thousand marines, plus heavy weapons and support equipment, and two planetary defence battalions equipped with a total of eight heavy laser cannon and four interceptors in static installations. Centauri Prime was just outside laser range.

After two weeks of constant boarding operations, all forty-two Centauri fuel harvesters in AX Microscopii were captured by the 1st, 2nd, 5th and 6th Marine Raiding Forces. Casualties were very heavy. Two hundred and sixty-six marines began the operation and only ninety-four survived to secure the last harvester. All the captured harvesters were sent to the seventh planet of AX, which had 100,000 tons of 0.9 accessibility Sorium. The breaching pods with the surviving marines landed aboard the cruiser Trafalgar, which headed back to Earth.

In Pi-3 Orionis, the Expeditionary Force arrived at the unexplored jump point on January 16th. A Kestrel class shuttle was sent through to check for any Centauri forces. The shuttle discovered 12 Ophiuchi, a K-class star with two Venusian planets, confirming that all three outward jump points in Pi-3 Orionis led to stars in the constellation of Ophiuchus. The only unusual aspect of the system was a high number of comets; seventeen in total. The Kestrel headed toward the planets to check for any sign of a Centauri presence.

On January 28th 2251, the exploration ship Icarus transited the only outward jump point in Proxima and arrived in the known system of 61 Hydrae, which lay beyond Sol’s outermost jump point. As Proxima was beyond Sol’s innermost jump point, it was now faster to reach 61 Hydrae from Earth by going via Proxima rather than through the Sol – 61 Hydrae jump point. There were two further jump points in 61 Hydrae, one leading to Bernard’s Star and one still to be explored. Icarus set course for the unexplored jump point. As she passed through the inner system, she detected an ship from a new alien race; the second to be discovered within one transit of Sol. The 6,276-ton ship, designated as Abraxas class, was in orbit of the innermost planet, a high mass gas giant. Icarus changed course to join the alien ship and began transmitting a hail. The alien ship also sent a message to Icarus, though the content was unintelligible.



The only four undamaged capital ships in the Home Fleet were the Omega class destroyers Cerberus and Damocles and the Hyperion class cruisers Clarkstown and Trafalgar. Three other Omegas, Acheron, Agamemnon and Orion, were all in Earth orbit but had serious armour damage and could not be repaired for another eighteen months. The only large enough shipyard was occupied by the construction of two new Omega class destroyers and would not be available until June 2252. The four intact ships, along with the Artemis class frigates Hemera and Nyx departed Earth orbit, heading for the 61 Hydrae jump point.

There were four other frigates at Earth, Hestia, Mnemosyne, Psyche and Themis, all of which had significant armour damage. The Hyperion class cruiser Aegean remained in the Home Fleet and was the most combat capable of the remaining warships, although she had moderate armour damage including a seventy-five percent penetration in one location. Apart from the major warships, there were also two Artemis-J class jump frigates and nine police cutters. Two of the cutters, Amalthea and Callisto, were dispatched to Proxima, where they would monitor the Proxima – Sol and Proxima – 61 Hydrae jump points for any alien activity. A third, Deimos, was sent to 61 Hydrae to monitor the alien ship and allow Icarus to investigate the remaining unexplored jump point.

With a new alien threat, the scale of operations in Centauri space had to be significantly reduced. Alexander, one of two Omega class destroyers monitoring Centauri Prime, was recalled to Earth, leaving sentry duty to her sister ship Apollo. Hyperion was recalled from the AX jump point picket, leaving a squadron comprising the Hyperion-J Selene, the frigates Aphrodite and Artemis and the police cutters Phobos and Rhea. Finally, the destroyer Roanoke and the cruisers Lexington and Prometheus were recalled from the Expeditionary Force, leaving just the Hyperion class cruisers Amundsen and Astraeus and the Hyperion-J Helios to search for any remaining Centauri ships. Work began on a new Babylon class diplomatic station.

On February 9th, a squadron of five more alien ships was detected in 61 Hydrae, comprising a 12,600-ton Asmodeus, and four ships of 6,262 tons; a Balor, a Vhaeraun and two Hecates. The squadron headed for the first planet, where Icarus and the Abraxas were still in orbit, at 3184 km/s. The detachment from the Home Fleet was still several days away.



Babylon Two, the second diplomatic station, was towed into orbit of 61 Hydrae I on February 12th. With the station now able to handle contact duties, Icarus moved to the unexplored jump point and transited. She emerged almost five billion kilometres from 70 Sagittarii, a yellow G3-V star similar to the Sun and orbited by three planets. The first two, a superjovian and a gas giant, were both tide-locked to the star. 70 Sagittarii III was an ideal habitable world, the second to be discovered within two transits of Sol and probably the origin of the alien ships in 61 Hydrae. To reduce potential tensions, Icarus dispatched her shuttle sunward and transited back through the jump point.

The home fleet detachment transited into 61 Hydrae on February 13th and took up station on the Sol jump point. Icarus headed for Bernard’s Star to investigate a jump point recently discovered by her sister ship Odysseus. With a suspected alien home world adjacent to 61 Hydrae, it seemed unlikely the aliens would give up the system, which meant that either the Alliance would have to cede the system or fight another war before the first one was fully concluded. Discussions began at EarthDome regarding how to eliminate the long-term Centauri threat, without having to stage a ground invasion, so that the Alliance could focus all its efforts on the new race.

In Pi-3 Orionis, the three remaining ships of the Expeditionary Force, cruisers Amundsen, Astraeus and Helios, transited into 76 Ophiuchi to search for any surviving Centauri ships. Known vessels that had not been destroyed included six Amar, nine Mograth, six Octurions, three Decurions and three Darkner. The first two types were warships. The other three classes had commercial engines, but their function was unknown. 76 Ophiuchi was an empty system apart from a scattering of comets. There was no sign of the Centauri. All three systems outward from Pi-3 Orionis had now been checked and shuttles were picketing the Pi-3 Orionis side of each jump point. It seemed likely the missing ships were in one of the systems, but the ships of the Expeditionary Force were needed in Sol so they headed back to the AX jump point.

In 61 Hydrae, the police cutter Deimos was sent to a location thirty-five million kilometres from the 70 Sagittarii jump point, so it could monitor any traffic with its active sensors. A new 5590-ton alien ship class, designated as Talona class, was already on the jump point. A second new ship of 4476 tons, designated as Aldinach class, joined the alien squadron in orbit of 61 Hydrae I. Monitoring any movement by the alien forces was made easier when a Conestoga class freighter dropped off a deep space tracking station on 61 Hydrae II, a barren dwarf planet. The second planet was chosen to avoid detection by the alien ships in orbit of the first planet. Meanwhile, in Bernard’s Star Icarus transited the new jump point and discovered Psi Ceti, a planetless binary with two red dwarf stars.



The Kestrel-J class shuttle sent into 70 Sagittarii reached the ideal habitable world, detecting one hundred and sixty-seven ships of sixteen different classes, plus a large population. The population had an EM signature approximately twenty percent smaller than Earth. All the ships detected in 61 Hydrae, except the Talona for which there were no thermal readings, had military engines, but without movement from the newly identified ship classes, there was no way to determine the engine types of the ships in orbit of 70 Sagittarii III. The shuttle reversed course and headed for the jump point. As it departed, the Kestrel received an unintelligible communication from the planet. It was unlikely to be a greeting.



Known Alien Ships
16x Anghazan: 12,298 tons.
29x Asmodeus: 12,559 tons, Military.
9x Balor: 6,262 tons. Military.
22x Baphomet: 6,286 tons.
6x Daclau-Gar: 77,278 tons.
3x Dagon: 19,723 tons.
12x Demogorgon: 58,254 tons.
10x Deskari: 54,919 tons.
2x Hecate: 6,262 tons. Military.
16x Malar: 34,70 tons.
16x Malcanthet : 18,851 tons.
4x Moloch: 12,556 tons.
4x Shar : 12,532 tons.
1x Talona : 5590 tons.
16x Talos : 21,881 tons.
1x Vhaeraun. 6,262 tons. Military.

The alien race in 61 Hydrae was effectively blocking colonization beyond that system until a relationship could be established, although Icarus and Odysseus were continuing to explore in Bernard’s Star and beyond. As the only outward jump point from Proxima was also through 61 Hydrae, that cut off a second of the four jump points in Sol in terms of future expansion, which left AX Microscopii and Alpha Centauri. The only outward jump point found so far in AX, with ninety percent of the survey completed, led to the Centauri home system of Pi-3 Orionis. While there were three outward jump points in the system, it would be reckless to send colony ships into those systems until the missing Centauri warships could be found.

Which left only Alpha Centauri. The survey was eighty-five percent complete and two new jump points had been found so far. The exploration ship Orpheus transited the inner unexplored jump point on March 13th 2251. She emerged in 61 Cygni, a binary system with twelve planets equally split between two K-class stars. Four planets were colony cost 2.00 but all would require substantial terraforming to make them habitable. A few days later her sister ship Daedalus transited the second jump point and discovered the planetless system of HH Andromedae.

On March 21st 2251, full communication was established with the alien race in 61 Hydrae. They identified themselves as the Abbai Matriarchate and were humanoid amphibians, with mottled skin and a high, thin crest in the centre of their heads. The Abbai requested that Alliance forces leave the system as it was part of their territory. The Alliance found itself in exactly the same situation as it had six months earlier in AX Microscopii. After intense discussion, EarthDome decided to hold off on making a decision for as long as possible. If the current stalemate could be extended for a few weeks, the ships returning from Centauri space could be overhauled and made ready for another campaign, although Earth would have to rely on being defended by damaged ships.

That decision was only hours old when the Abbai squadron at the first planet broke orbit and headed for the Alliance force at the Sol jump point. After moving into point-blank range, the Abbai reversed course and moved back to the planet. On the assumption that the size of the Alliance fleet, officially designated as the Second Expeditionary Force, might impact short-term diplomatic relations, EarthDome agreed to pull the fleet back into Sol and leave a single frigate to monitor Abbai activity near the 61 Hydrae – Sol jump point. That would reduce the Alliance force in 61 Hydrae to the frigate Hemera, the police cutter Deimos and the Babylon Two diplomatic station. The Expeditionary Force was stationed at the Sol - 61 Hydrae jump point and was reinforced by the destroyer Alexander and the cruiser Hyperion.

Another new group of Abbai ships transited into 61 Hydrae on May 20th. The largest was a previously unseen Kali class of 72,600 tons, accompanied by a 12,600-ton Asmodeus and two 6,286 ton Baphomets, all of which were new ships. They joined the Talona class diplomatic ship on the 70 Sagittarii jump point. The Abbai had been repeating their request for the Alliance to leave the system every few days for two months, but no direct action had followed.



The survey of Alpha Centauri was completed in early June 2251, revealing a fourth jump point. Bellerophon transited on June 3rd and discovered Wolf 359, a red dwarf star with two unremarkable planets.  In July, the exploration ship Icarus transited the only jump point in Psi Ceti, which lay two transits from 61 Hydrae via Bernard’s Star. She emerged in the known system of 76 Ophiuchi, which was connected to the Centauri home system of Pi-3 Orionis. The new connection meant the Abbai could potentially block a third jump point in Sol by travelling from their home system of 70 Sagittarii through 61 Hydrae, Bernard’s Star, Psi Ceti and Pi-3 Orionis into AX Microscopii. Icarus and Odysseus began a survey of 76 Ophiuchi, which had the potential to also find the missing Centauri ships.



On July 25th 2251, the Abbai changed the tone of their warnings. They now requested that Alliance forces leave the system as a matter of urgency. Given the potential for the Abbai to move into Proxima and into Centauri space, as well as moving into Sol directly from 61 Hydrae, EarthDome made the decision to fight. All the ships returning from Centauri space had completed overhauls at Earth, so the Second Expeditionary Force, stationed at the Sol – 61 Hydrae jump point, had been reinforced to four Omega class destroyers and four Hyperion class cruisers, all with full Starfury strike groups, plus the frigates Nyx and Hemera, the latter of which was on the 61 Hydrae side of the jump point monitoring Abbai movements. Two more Hyperions were en route to the Proxima – 61 Hydrae jump point to guard against any Abbai movement into that system. With the destroyer Apollo still watching Centauri Prime, that left three damaged Omega class destroyers, one intact and one damaged Hyperion and four damaged frigates to guard Earth.

Unfortunately, there was no available intelligence on the armament of the Abbai ships, not even whether they were armed with missiles or energy weapons. They were slower than Alliance ships, with a speed of less than 3200 km/s, which possibly indicated a lower level of technology. The speed differential also meant that if the Abbai were armed with energy weapons, the Alliance could choose the range of engagement. Whatever the armament, it was still tactically and strategically advantageous to strike first. Captain Aella Phoenix was in command of the Expeditionary Force once more. She was ordered by Admiral Tyler to secure the 61 Hydrae system and eliminate any Abbai forces therein. Once that was accomplished, stage two would be an advance into 70 Sagittarii. In broad terms, it was the same approach that was used against the Centauri. Whether it yielded the same result would depend on the technology of the Abbai.
 

Offline Steve Walmsley (OP)

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Re: Earth Alliance Updates Thread
« Reply #4 on: January 11, 2021, 09:18:08 AM »
The Second Expeditionary Force transited into 61 Hydrae where it was joined by the frigate Hemera. The jump cruiser Selene was detached at the jump point to act as a picket and provide an escape route if the engagement went badly. Captain Phoenix decided to focus on the squadron in orbit of Hydrae I and take that out quickly, before moving to eliminate the smaller force at the 70 Sagittarii jump point. As her ships moved across the system, the Abbai squadron, comprising an Asmodeus, two Hecates, a Vhaeraun and a Balor,  broke orbit and advanced to meet them. The Asmodeus was 12,600 tons and the other Abbai ships were 6,262 tons. Phoenix ordered her ships to move within forty-two thousand kilometres of the approaching alien ships and prepare to open fire.

Second Expeditionary Force
Omega class Destroyer: Alexander, Cerberus, Damocles, Roanoke
Hyperion class Cruiser: Clarkstown, Hyperion, Lexington, Trafalgar
Artemis class Frigate: Hemera, Nyx
4x Invader class Breaching Pod:
184x SF-1A Starfury class Fighter:
9x Kestrel class Shuttle:



Once the Expeditionary Force closed to the desired range, it reversed course and maintained the distance between the two fleets. Every Alliance ship opened fire simultaneously, instantly destroying the five Abbai ships. The fleet changed course and headed for the 70 Sagittarii jump point to engage the second Abbai squadron, comprising a 72,600 ton Kali, an Asmodeus and two 6,286 ton Baphomets. The Talona class diplomatic ship was also on the jump point. An Abraxas class ship, almost certainly some form of scout, was located between the Expeditionary Force and the Sol jump point, so Phoenix ordered the police cutter Deimos, which had been monitoring the 70 Sagittarii jump point, to run down and destroy the lone ship.

The Abbai force held their position and did not react to the approaching ships. The lack of any missile launches suggested the Abbai were armed with energy weapons. Phoenix ordered her force to halt at two hundred and ten thousand kilometres and open fire with both heavy laser cannon and heavy pulse cannon. There was no return fire and no attempt to run. The response seemed very passive, but the Abbai were in a difficult situation either way. If they moved toward the Alliance fleet, it would simply stay out of range. If they ran, the Alliance ships would follow.

Captain Phoenix ordered the fleet to close to one hundred and ninety thousand kilometres in an attempt to learn more about the Abbai offensive capabilities. There was still no return fire. The prevailing assumption for Alliance intelligence was that the Kali was a stabilisation ship, so it was possible that the other ships in the squadron were escorts with no long-range weapons. The move within two hundred thousand kilometres brought the Alliance particle beams into the fight and hastened the destruction of the Asmodeus, the Talona and the two Baphomets, leaving the Kali alone on the jump point. Breaching pods were launched from the Cerberus and Roanoke. The EarthForce Marines quickly secured the ship, suffering only a single casualty.

The captured ship had improved nuclear pulse engines, one generation behind the ion engines of the Alliance. In addition, the close-in weapon system had only four shots and a lower tracking speed than the comparable Alliance technology used for interceptor turrets. It appeared the Earth Alliance did have a technological edge, at least for the moment. Captain Phoenix was determined to make use of that advantage. The jump cruiser Selene was called forward from the Sol jump point so the first probe into 70 Sagittarii could be launched.

Kali class Construction Ship      72,601 tons       286 Crew       1,655 BP       TCS 1,452    TH 1,600    EM 0
1101 km/s      Armour 1-155       Shields 0-0       HTK 82      Sensors 0/0/0/0      DCR 1      PPV 0
MSP 14    Max Repair 1000 MSP
Lieutenant Commander    Control Rating 1   BRG   
Intended Deployment Time: 3 months   
Jump Point Stabilisation: 180 days

Commercial Improved Nuclear Pulse Engine  (10)    Power 1600    Fuel Use 5.06%    Signature 160    Explosion 4%
Fuel Capacity 350,000 Litres    Range 17.1 billion km (180 days at full power)
CIWS-120 (2x4)    Range 1000 km     TS: 12,000 km/s     ROF 5       

Selene arrived at the jump point on August 6th 2251. First to transit was a Kestrel class shuttle, which confirmed the jump point was clear. The rest of the Expeditionary Force transited a few minutes later. The jump point was almost five billion kilometres from the planet so Captain Aella Phoenix decided to hold position and await the arrival of a replenishment ship before proceeding in-system. The delay would also allow the Abbai to send forces against the Expeditionary Force that could potentially be defeated in detail.

While the conflict in Abbai space was only just beginning, the search for the missing Centauri warships continued. Icarus and Odysseus were already surveying 76 Ophiuchi, with no sign of enemy ships thus far. The exploration ship Theseus arrived at the Pi-3 Orionis – 78 Ophiuchi jump point, ready to begin a survey of the latter system. Even though the First Expeditionary Force had checked the system eight months earlier, Captain Hubrecht van Dalen of Theseus sent his Kestrel-J class shuttle through the jump point first. It did not return. Captain van Dalen immediately raised the alarm, but the Alliance was not in a position to act upon his warning.

The only warships in Pi-3 Orionis were the Omega class destroyer Apollo, watching Centauri Prime, and a small force of two frigates and two police cutters acting as a picket on the AX Microscopii jump point. With the start of hostilities against the Abbai, there were no ships available for a jump point assault, especially as the missing Centauri warships were all deadly at close range. Theseus was ordered to survey 12 Ophiuchi instead. The Centauri would have to wait until the situation in 70 Sagittarii was resolved, assuming that the shuttle was lost to the Centauri and not a third hostile alien race.

Sixteen days after the Expeditionary Force transited into 70 Sagittarii, the first Abbai forces approached the jump point; a squadron identical to that destroyed in 61 Hydrae, comprising an Asmodeus, a Balor, a Vhaeraun and two Hecates. The Expeditionary Force advanced to meet them. Four million kilometres from the jump point, Alliance sensors detected nine thermal contacts inbound at 21,200 km/s. It appeared the Abbai did indeed have missiles, but their squadron in 61 Hydrae was destroyed before they could be used. More waves of missiles appeared at fifteen second intervals. Active detection at close range identified the missiles as size-6, or about 15 tons each. The fleet was equipped with forty-four interceptor turrets; six each on the Omegas, four each on the Hyperions and two each on the frigates. Each interceptor could fire eight times every five seconds. Ten waves of nine missiles were easily brushed aside, then the Expeditionary Force began to run down the Abbai squadron.



Six hours later, as the Expeditionary Force moved within half a million kilometres, the Abbai launched again. This time there were twelve of the size-6 missile, accompanied by thirteen size-1 missiles with a speed of 35,000 km/s. The latter type was identified as a potential anti-missile missile, or AMM. The Alliance had considered a similar weapon before committing to an all-energy armament. The fleet met many waves of both missile types head-on, the interceptor turrets clearing the way with brutal efficiency, until the Abbai were within weapon range. Within minutes, the Asmodeus and both Hecates were destroyed. The Balor and Vhaeraun were disabled, boarded and captured. The former had a resolution-5 sensor, presumably intended to detect fighter-size craft while the sensor of the latter was intended to detect ships of around 1000 tons. Both were armed with three size-6 missile launchers.

Balor class Missile Frigate      6,262 tons       153 Crew       824.1 BP       TCS 125    TH 400    EM 0
3194 km/s      Armour 4-30       Shields 0-0       HTK 44      Sensors 6/0/0/0      DCR 4      PPV 18
Maint Life 2.98 Years     MSP 329    AFR 78%    IFR 1.1%    1YR 56    5YR 833    Max Repair 116.04 MSP
Magazine 371   
Commander    Control Rating 2   BRG   AUX   
Intended Deployment Time: 12 months    Morale Check Required   

Improved Nuclear Pulse Engine  EP200 (2)    Power 400    Fuel Use 70.71%    Signature 200    Explosion 10%
Fuel Capacity 450,000 Litres    Range 18.3 billion km (66 days at full power)

Size 6 Missile Launcher (3)     Missile Size: 6    Rate of Fire 20
Missile Fire Control FC23-R5 (1)     Range 23.2m km    Resolution 5

Active Search Sensor AS20-R5 (1)     GPS 360     Range 20.1m km    Resolution 5
Thermal Sensor TH1-6 (1)     Sensitivity 6     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  19.4m km

Vhaeraun class Missile Frigate      6,262 tons       153 Crew       824.1 BP       TCS 125    TH 400    EM 0
3194 km/s      Armour 4-30       Shields 0-0       HTK 44      Sensors 6/0/0/0      DCR 4      PPV 18
Maint Life 2.98 Years     MSP 329    AFR 78%    IFR 1.1%    1YR 56    5YR 833    Max Repair 116.04 MSP
Magazine 371   
Commander    Control Rating 2   BRG   AUX   
Intended Deployment Time: 12 months    Morale Check Required   

Improved Nuclear Pulse Engine  EP200 (2)    Power 400    Fuel Use 70.71%    Signature 200    Explosion 10%
Fuel Capacity 450,000 Litres    Range 18.3 billion km (66 days at full power)

Size 6 Missile Launcher (3)     Missile Size: 6    Rate of Fire 20
Missile Fire Control FC36-R20 (1)     Range 36.8m km    Resolution 20

Active Search Sensor AS31-R20 (1)     GPS 1440     Range 31.8m km    Resolution 20
Thermal Sensor TH1-6 (1)     Sensitivity 6     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  19.4m km

The fleet paused to allow the marines to be recovered and prize crews established. A Dionysus class replenishment had arrived in 70 Sagittarii during the pursuit, so that ship moved up to refuel and resupply the Expeditionary Force. The Hyperions that had been guarding the jump point from 61 Hydrae to Proxima, Amundsen and Prometheus, had moved up to join the jump cruiser Selene at the jump point to 70 Sagittarii. They were also joined by five captured Centauri ships; a Sulust and four Vorchans. The new force transited into 70 Sagittarii where it would act as a jump point picket while the Expeditionary Force advanced deeper into the system.

An Abraxas class scout that came to shadow the Expeditionary Force was disabled by Starfuries and then captured by marines. Ten hours later, the first sizeable Abbai force entered detection range. The enemy fleet comprised four Malcanthet class ships of 18,850 tons, four 12,560-ton Asmodeus class, six 12,300-ton Angazhan class, four 6,290-ton Baphomets and two 6,260-ton Balor class. The Asmodeus had thirteen size-1 missile launchers and the Balor had three size-6 launchers. The armament of the other ships was unknown. The ten ships of the Expeditionary Force still out-massed the alien fleet by two-to-one. As the enemy force drew closer it suddenly split into two parts, with four of the Angazhans, an Asmodeus and a Baphomet staying on course and the rest coming about to head back toward the inner system



The Angazhan class was armed with thirteen lasers, including one more powerful than the rest. Alliance Intelligence estimated the maximum damage of the main laser to be strength-9 with the other at strength-6. The destroyer Alexander took several strength-1 hits at long-range, with the maximum observed range to be 187,000 km for the larger laser and 175,000 km for the others. With shorter-ranged weapons and no ability to close the range, the brief engagement was one-sided. All six Abbai ships were destroyed. Alexander suffered thirteen strength-1 hits in total. As the Expeditionary Force chased the larger formation of fourteen ships, including the 18,850-ton Malcanthets, another energy-armed squadron approached from the planet, identical to that just destroyed, followed by another larger formation similar to that being chased.



The six-ship energy-armed formation attempted to move around the Expeditionary Force, perhaps to attack the Alliance ships near the jump point or the stationary, captured Abbai ships. The Expeditionary Force changed course to intercept, so the Abbai squadron reversed course and began launching AMMs from the sole Asmodeus. The Alliance interceptor turrets easily destroyed the thirteen-missile salvos. Once the range dropped to 200,000 km, the Abbai reversed course again to try an energy engagement, but to no avail. Alexander took another four strength-1 hits at long range. The Abbai squadron was wiped out.

The Expeditionary Force began closing once more on the closest of the two Malcanthet formation. As it moved within half a million kilometres, the Abbai began launching missiles; forty-two size-6 missiles and thirty-nine AMM in each wave. Because of the speed differential, the anti-ship missiles and AMMs arrived separately and were easily defeated. Even when the range dropped and ASMs and AMMs launched at different times arrived simultaneously, the four Omega class destroyers shot down all the inbounds without assistance from the four Hyperions and the two frigates.

With the Abbai missile ships unable to penetrate the defences of the Expeditionary Force, Captain Phoenix ordered her ships to focus on the two laser-armed Angazhan class ships. Once those were eliminated, her ships could close on the Abbai formation and finish the engagement far more quickly. Her greatest fear was simply running out of supplies due to the wear and tear on the fleet’s weapons. The Angazhans managed several minor hits on Alexander before they were both destroyed, then the Expeditionary Force moved to closer range and ruthlessly slaughtered the rest of the Abbai ships. The second Malcanthet-led force of fourteen ships met an identical fate.

On Earth, research into the salvage module was completed. As a result of the battles in AX Microscopii, Pi-3 Orionis, 61 Hydrae and 70 Sagittarii, there were a huge number of wrecks scattered through the four systems, which would yield large quantities of minerals plus the potential for new technology. The Corinth class Salvager, two of which were laid down, had four salvage modules and could salvage up to 2000 tons per day. As the ships would not be ready until October 2252, a design was created for the Mycenae class Salvage Station. This could be built far more quickly, but lacked engines and would require a Hercules class tug to tow it between wrecks.
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Corinth class Salvager      72,862 tons       576 Crew       1,798.4 BP       TCS 1,457    TH 3,000    EM 0
2058 km/s      Armour 1-155       Shields 0-0       HTK 105      Sensors 8/6/0/0      DCR 1      PPV 0
MSP 15    Max Repair 200 MSP
Lieutenant Commander    Control Rating 1   BRG   
Intended Deployment Time: 3 months   
Salvager: 4 module(s) capable of salvaging 2000 tons per day

Commercial Ion Drive  (6)    Power 3000    Fuel Use 2.24%    Signature 500    Explosion 4%
Fuel Capacity 1,000,000 Litres    Range 110.3 billion km (620 days at full power)

Kentaro-Morgan KM-24 Active Sensor (1)     GPS 1560     Range 24.3m km    Resolution 130
TH-8 Passive Sensor (1)     Sensitivity 8     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  22.4m km
EM-6 Passive Sensor (1)     Sensitivity 6     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  19.4m km

Mycenae class Salvage Station      51,157 tons       416 Crew       1,182.1 BP       TCS 1,023    TH 0    EM 0
1 km/s      No Armour       Shields 0-0     HTK 41      Sensors 8/6/0/0      DCR 1      PPV 0
MSP 14    Max Repair 200 MSP
Lieutenant Commander    Control Rating 1   BRG   
Intended Deployment Time: 3 months   
Salvager: 5 module(s) capable of salvaging 2500 tons per day

Kentaro-Morgan KM-24 Active Sensor (1)     GPS 1560     Range 24.3m km    Resolution 130
TH-8 Passive Sensor (1)     Sensitivity 8     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  22.4m km
EM-6 Passive Sensor (1)     Sensitivity 6     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  19.4m km

Meanwhile in 70 Sagittarii, the ex-Centauri Sulust class jump frigate was picking up Abbai survivors in the wake of the Expeditionary Force and transporting them to the sensor outpost on 61 Hydrae II. Interrogation of the survivors provided details of 75 Aurigae, an adjacent system, although the location of the jump point in 70 Sagittarii was not known. The Abbai prisoners also revealed that the Abbai were also at war with an unknown race. Given the Alliance was already in the Abbai home system, that suggested contact with this new alien race was not far away.

In late August, the Expeditionary Force intercepted a fleet of three Asmodeus, three Baphomet and three Dagon class ships. The Abbai were not on a direct course for the Alliance fleet and appeared to be tying to move around it. Five of the warships were destroyed and one Baphomet surrendered when fired upon. The three slow-moving Dagon were boarded and captured intact. They turned out to be salvage ships and would be a very useful addition to the EarthForce Space Corps, despite their small size and older technology. They were renamed as the Thebes class for Alliance service.

Baphomet class Destroyer Escort      6,287 tons       166 Crew       791.1 BP       TCS 126    TH 400    EM 0
3181 km/s      Armour 4-30       Shields 0-0       HTK 37      Sensors 0/0/0/0      DCR 4      PPV 24.48
Maint Life 3.31 Years     MSP 314    AFR 79%    IFR 1.1%    1YR 43    5YR 649    Max Repair 108 MSP
Commander    Control Rating 2   BRG   AUX   
Intended Deployment Time: 12 months    Morale Check Required   

Improved Nuclear Pulse Engine  EP200 (2)    Power 400    Fuel Use 70.71%    Signature 200    Explosion 10%
Fuel Capacity 450,000 Litres    Range 18.2 billion km (66 days at full power)

Twin 10cm Near Ultraviolet Laser Turret (3x2)    Range 48,000km   TS: 12000 km/s    Power 6-3     ROF 10       
CIWS-120 (1x4)    Range 1000 km     TS: 12,000 km/s     ROF 5       
Beam Fire Control R48-TS12000 (2)     Max Range: 48,000 km   TS: 12,000 km/s
Improved Pebble Bed Reactor R3 (3)     Total Power Output 10.3    Exp 5%
Active Search Sensor AS14-R1 (1)     GPS 108     Range 14.4m km    MCR 1.3m km    Resolution 1

Thebes class Salvager      19,724 tons       172 Crew       543 BP       TCS 394    TH 640    EM 0
1622 km/s      Armour 1-65       Shields 0-0       HTK 43      Sensors 6/0/0/0      DCR 1      PPV 0
MSP 17    Max Repair 200 MSP
Lieutenant Commander    Control Rating 1   BRG   
Intended Deployment Time: 3 months   
Salvager: 1 module(s) capable of salvaging 500 tons per day

Commercial Improved Nuclear Pulse Engine (4)    Power 640    Fuel Use 5.06%    Signature 160    Explosion 4%
Fuel Capacity 150,000 Litres    Range 27 billion km (193 days at full power)

CIWS-120 (2x4)    Range 1000 km     TS: 12,000 km/s     ROF 5       
Thermal Sensor TH1-6 (1)     Sensitivity 6     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  19.4m km

As the Expeditionary Force approached the Abbai home world, a third Malcanthet-led formation of fourteen ships attacked and was subsequently destroyed. It seemed to some Alliance officers to be an unfair fight as the Abbai were completely outclassed. However, given their proximity to Earth, it was better to deal with the potential danger now rather than allow the Abbai to improve their capabilities. On September 7th, the Expeditionary Force moved within sensor range of the Abbai home world, 70 Sagittarii III, and detected only eight ships in orbit; four Shar class and four Moloch class. Based on the list of known Abbai ships, there were a number of warships absent, including four Malcanthet, two Angazhan, fourteen Asmodeus, two Balor and eight Baphomet. The number and classes suggested a fourth Malcanthet-led fleet plus some additional escorts.



Just over one million kilometres from the planet, the fleet was attacked by three waves of one hundred and sixteen AMMs. Two missiles each from the first and second waves penetrated the Alliance interceptor fire and struck the frigate Hemera with strength-1 warheads. Captain Phoenix ordered the heavy weapons to be used for point defence, which was sufficient to destroy all the missiles of the third wave. The missile attacks restarted at half a million kilometres and did not relent. As the heavy weapons were changed to offensive fire, several penetrated from each wave.

The Omega class destroyer Cerberus suffered nine strength-1 hits from ground-based lasers at 225,000 kilometres. A total of two hundred and forty surface-to-orbit weapons were detected and it was only the extreme range that kept the damage to a minimum. Captain Phoenix ordered the fleet to keep closing. She was concerned about the supply situation and wanted the fleet’s weapons to be as effective as possible. The ground-based lasers fired every fifteen seconds, with increasing numbers of hits. Cerberus took thirty-six, sixty-seven and eighty hits from the next three salvos. The Alliance ships held the range at 150,000 kilometres and focused their fire on the eight ships, most likely bases, in orbit.

The Abbai lasers changed targeting and spread their fire among all the Alliance ships, before hitting Cerberus again. A Shar class base exploded, followed by a Moloch, then the Abbai targeted all ships again. Every Alliance ship had some armour damage, with Cerberus by far the worst. The cruiser Clarkstown was down to seven percent of her maintenance supplies and the frigate Hemera was at twenty-three percent. A Moloch was destroyed, followed by two Shar and another Moloch. With only two damaged bases remaining, the fleet began to pull back with Cerberus suffering more damage during the withdrawal. By the time the fleet moved to 240,000 km, outside Abbai ground-based laser range, nothing remained in orbit.

The capital ships targeted the STOs with heavy laser cannons and heavy pulse cannons at extreme range, but the hit rate was extremely low and maintenance supplies were seriously depleted. Phoenix ordered the fleet to close to 160,000 km so the particle beams would also be in range. The two sides exchanged fire for a further seven minutes with the Expeditionary Force taking almost four hundred strength-1 hits. Clarkstown ran out of supplies, resulting in damage to a heavy laser cannon and a particle beam. The frigate Nyx also lost a particle beam. Both were ordered back to the jump point. The weight of fire from the Alliance ships was considerable. On average, an Abbai laser was destroyed every two seconds until they were finally eliminated. There was also significant collateral damage to the civilian population, although that was unavoidable.

The fleet moved to 60,000 km and opened fire on the vast Abbai shipyard complexes. By the time the skies over 70 Sagittarii II were clear, four of the remaining Alliance ships had less than thirty percent maintenance and only one had greater than fifty percent. Cerberus had significant armour damage and would require repair before any major combat operations. The cruiser Hyperion and both frigates had sufficient damage to warrant concern, while the other ships had minimal to light armour damage.



The Expeditionary Force conducted a reconnaissance of the other two planets without incident before heading back to the jump point. Captain Phoenix considered leaving a picket force to watch the planet, as with Centauri Prime, but there was no handy moon outside the range of potential future STO weapons, so any picket would have to chase the planet around the star. Besides, all ships were in serious need of resupply. Sufficient damage had been inflicted to reduce the Abbai to a minor threat, at least for the moment. A few days later, the Icarus class exploration ships Ajax and Hector were completed at the Interplanetary Expeditions shipyard at Earth. Both ships were dispatched to 70 Sagittarii to begin a gravitational survey.

The Expeditionary Force was resupplying at the 70 Sagittarii - 61 Hydrae jump point when the missing Malcanthet-led fleet appeared eighty million kilometres from the jump point, comprising four Malcanthet class ships of 18,850 tons, three 12,560-ton Asmodeus class, two 12,300-ton laser-armed Angazhan class, 3x 6,290-ton Baphomets and two 6,260-ton Balor class. As the resupply operation was not yet completed, all four Omega class destroyers were forty percent supplies or less, with two below thirty percent. Cerberus was still with the fleet, despite her significant armour damage. The three captured salvage ships were at work nearby, so the Expeditionary Force moved out to engage the Abbai.



The short battle followed the well-established pattern, with the Alliance capital ships taking out the laser-armed Angazhans in exchange for minimal damage, then closing and destroying the rest of the Abbai force while shooting down every inbound hostile missile. One of the ex-Centauri Vorchans from the jump point picket moved in to pick up survivors and took them to the sensor outpost in 61 Hydrae, while the Expeditionary Force resumed resupply operations. Cerberus was at twelve percent.

Three days after the destruction of the Abbai warships, the exploration ship Ajax detected six Daclau-Sar class ships on thermal sensors. Ajax, conducting a gravitational survey, was slightly over a billion kilometres from the 61 Hydrae jump point. Two hours later she detected nine Asmodeus class escort cruisers in company with the larger ships. The Abbai ships appeared to be on a direct course for the jump point, so the unarmed Ajax moved away as the Second Expeditionary Force, still lacking supplies for the Omegas, set off from the jump point on a reciprocal course.



The alien ships dropped off sensors, but were picked up again by the approaching Expeditionary Force, including three Baphomet class that had not been spotted by the Ajax. As soon as the Abbai detected the Alliance ships, they reversed course and ran. The Expeditionary Force closed in, with Captain Phoenix intended to close to just outside the energy weapon range of the Baphomets to maximize weapon effectiveness. Overconfidence on the part of the Alliance, plus a sudden course change from the Abbai, suddenly brought the Expeditionary Force to within 25,000 kilometres. The Baphomets opened fire on the Alexander, scoring numerous strength-1 hits. A wave of one hundred and seventeen AMMs from the Asmodeus class ships scored a further six hits.

Captain Phoenix reacted quickly to her mistake and her fleet moved out of range of the Baphomets. The short range did have its advantages though and the Abbai warships were hit hard. A second salvo of AMMs inflicted several hits, then an Asmodeus blew up, followed moments later by three more. The reduced salvo size could no longer penetrate Alliance defences, so the range was held open while the fleet massacred the remaining Abbai warships. Breaching pods were launched to capture the fleeing Daclau-Sar.

The marines landed successfully on two of the 77,278-ton vessels but found they had thick armour. It took three minutes to blast their way inside. Once the hulls were penetrated, the marines quickly realised they had boarded troop transports. Fortunately, there were no troops embarked and they overcame the crews within a few minutes. All six troop transports were captured within a few hours and directed towards the 61 Hydrae jump point.

Daclau-Sar class Troop Transport      77,278 tons       470 Crew       3,260.9 BP       TCS 1,546    TH 2,400    EM 0
1552 km/s      Armour 8-161       Shields 0-0       HTK 188      Sensors 6/6/0/0      DCR 1      PPV 0
MSP 26    Max Repair 200 MSP
Troop Capacity 30,000 tons     Drop Capable    Cargo Shuttle Multiplier 4   
Lieutenant Commander    Control Rating 1   BRG   
Intended Deployment Time: 3 months   

Commercial Improved Nuclear Pulse Engine  (15)    Power 2400    Fuel Use 5.06%    Signature 160    Explosion 4%
Fuel Capacity 550,000 Litres    Range 25.3 billion km (188 days at full power)

CIWS-120 (2x4)    Range 1000 km     TS: 12,000 km/s     ROF 5       
Thermal Sensor TH1-6 (1)     Sensitivity 6     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  19.4m km
EM Sensor EM1-6 (1)     Sensitivity 6     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  19.4m km

A Vorchan class frigate picked up the survivors from the Abbai warships and conducted interrogations. One piece of very useful intelligence was the design of a previously unknown class; the Thunder II class escort cruiser. The Thunder was equipped with Ion engines, almost matching the speed of Alliance warships, and more capable AMMs, suggesting the Abbai had recently developed improved engine technology but had not yet built any of the new ships. The decision to launch an early attack into 70 Sagittarii had proved even more vital than previously believed. A more even battle would have been very difficult for the hard-pressed and increasingly battered EarthForce Space Corps.

Thunder II class Escort Cruiser      13,195 tons       256 Crew       1,755.5 BP       TCS 264    TH 1,050    EM 0
3978 km/s      Armour 5-49       Shields 0-0       HTK 73      Sensors 0/0/0/0      DCR 8      PPV 15
Maint Life 1.56 Years     MSP 665    AFR 174%    IFR 2.4%    1YR 315    5YR 4,723    Max Repair 400.84 MSP
Magazine 1,306   
Lord-Captain    Control Rating 3   BRG   AUX   CIC   
Intended Deployment Time: 12 months    Morale Check Required   

Ion Drive  EP262.5 (4)    Power 1050.0    Fuel Use 69.01%    Signature 262.5    Explosion 10%
Fuel Capacity 1,100,000 Litres    Range 21.7 billion km (63 days at full power)

Size 1 Missile Launcher (15)     Missile Size: 1    Rate of Fire 10
Missile Fire Control FC13-R1 (3)     Range 13.5m km    Resolution 1
Zhu AMM (1306)    Speed: 43,200 km/s    End: 0.5m     Range: 1.2m km    WH: 1    Size: 1    TH: 216/129/64

Active Search Sensor AS11-R1 (1)     GPS 72     Range 11.7m km    MCR 1.1m km    Resolution 1

In late October, a survey of the innermost planet of Kapteyn’s Star, located three transits from Earth via Alpha Centauri and HH Andromedae, revealed three million tons of accessibility 1.0 Sorium. This was the first major deposits of gaseous Sorium to be discovered. A small colony was established on the third planet, a small frozen world with a thin nitrogen atmosphere, and a police cutter was dispatched to guard the system. Fuel harvesters would be redeployed as tugs became available.

61 Hydrae had four jump points, leading to Sol, Proxima, the Abbai home system of 70 Sagittarii and Bernard’s Star. The last system had a single outward jump point which led to Psi Ceti, which in turn led to 76 Ophiuchi, which connected to Pi-3 Orionis, the home system of the Centauri. The chain was fully surveyed without finding any additional jump points. That meant the only exploration routes from Sol were through the Centauri home system, the Abbai home system or via Alpha Centauri. There were two outward jump points in Pi-3 Orionis, leading to 12 Ophiuchi and 78 Ophiuchi, but the latter was apparently still occupied by Centauri warships. The survey of the Abbai home system was still ongoing with a single new jump point found so far. Alpha Centauri had three outward jump points, leading to  61 Cygni, HH Andromedae and Wolf 359. Exploration of the single outward jump point in 61 Cygni revealed a new route into the Sol system, which was useful in reaching 61 Cygni but effectively cut off another avenue of exploration.

On February 8th 2252, four months after the previous engagement in 70 Sagittarii, five Abbai warships were detected approaching the 61 Hydrae jump point. The largest was an Asmodeus class escort cruiser of 12,600 tons, accompanied by four 6250-ton missile frigates; a Balor, two Hecates and a Vhaeraun. The force was armed with twelve anti-ship missile launchers and thirteen AMM launchers. Due to the long period without any incidents, the Expeditionary Force had returned to Sol for overhaul, leaving a picket force comprising the Hyperion class cruisers Amundsen and Prometheus, plus eight ex-Centauri warships; a Sulust, four particle beam-armed Vorchans and three Mograth class escorts, all of approximately 8000 tons. Three ex-Abbai salvage ships were in operation near the jump point, accompanied by six Conestoga class freighters, all of which had apparently been missed by the Abbai on their approach.



The picket force moved out to intercept. A replenishment ship and the Babylon Two station on the jump point both retreated into 61 Hydrae. When the Abbai detected the approaching Alliance ships, they turned ninety degrees to port and tried to run. At half a million kilometres, with the range falling, the Abbai opened fire. The interceptor turrets on the Hyperions and the three Mograth class escorts were sufficient to shoot down all incoming missiles, allowing the cruisers and the Vorchans to pick off the Abbai ships one by one. The encounter was a warning to the Alliance that the Abbai were not helpless, so the two Hyperions split up and moved to protect the vulnerable salvage ships, leaving the ex-Centauri ships on the jump point.

Two weeks later, a previously unknown type of Abbai ship was detected in 61 Hydrae near the Sol jump point, which was being picketed by the Tethys class police cutter Deimos. The Beshaba class was 6,846 tons and moving at 3067 km/s. On the basis it was probably a scout or survey ship, due to its speed, Deimos moved to intercept. A single volley was enough for the Abbai ship to surrender. The Beshaba was a small gravitational survey ship with only a single survey sensor and no jump drive, although it did have excellent range and a good passive sensor suite. It was dispatched to 70 Sagittarii to aid in the survey of that system once its systems were fully back online.

Beshaba class Survey Ship      6,846 tons       119 Crew       590.1 BP       TCS 137    TH 420    EM 0
3067 km/s      Armour 1-32       Shields 0-0       HTK 43      Sensors 18/18/1/0      DCR 8      PPV 0
Maint Life 7.33 Years     MSP 431    AFR 47%    IFR 0.7%    1YR 14    5YR 211    Max Repair 100 MSP
Commander    Control Rating 2   BRG   SCI   
Intended Deployment Time: 36 months    Morale Check Required   

Improved Nuclear Pulse Engine  EP140.00 (3)    Power 420    Fuel Use 28.99%    Signature 140    Explosion 7%
Fuel Capacity 2,150,000 Litres    Range 195 billion km (735 days at full power)

Thermal Sensor TH3-18 (1)     Sensitivity 18     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  33.5m km
EM Sensor EM3-18 (1)     Sensitivity 18     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  33.5m km
Gravitational Survey Sensors (1)   1 Survey Points Per Hour

The EarthForce Space Corps was reinforced between March and May 2252 with the completion of the Omega class destroyers Achilles and Zeus, the Hyperion class cruisers Pallas and Pegasus and the Artemis class frigates Ariadne and Andromeda. There were no Starfuries available for the destroyers as new fighter construction had been focused on replenishing existing strike groups. With the slipways empty, the battle damage of the existing ships could finally be repaired. Two new Repair Yards were constructed to reduce future demands on the shipyards.

The survey of the Abbai home system of 70 Sagittarii was completed in June 2252, revealing three jump points in total, including the entry point from 61 Hydrae. The astrography of one of the systems, 75 Aurigae, was already known from the intelligence gathered from Abbai prisoners. A shuttle from the new exploration ship Ajax transited the 75 Aurigae jump point on June 23rd and found a fleet of over eighty Abbai ships on the far side, including two Asmodeus class escort cruisers and three Abraxas class scouts. The function of the other ships was unknown.

2x Asmodeus: 12,559 tons, Military.
12x Demogorgon: 58,254 tons.
16x Malar: 34,70 tons.
16x Malcanthet : 18,851 tons.
16x Talos : 21,881 tons.
16x Hextor (unknown)
3x Abraxas (scout)



The shuttle immediately transited back into 70 Sagittarii and ran for the 61 Hydrae jump point, along with Ajax. The Abbai ships followed within moments and set course for the third jump point, which connected to V833 Tau, a system with two uninviting planets and a large asteroid belt. The exploration ship Hector and the ex-Abbai Beshaba class survey ship were already engaged in a gravitational survey of V833 Tau. In 70 Sagittarii, the Asmodeus class escort cruisers opened fire on the Ajax and the shuttle with AMMs, destroying both. The combat forces in 70 Sagittarii still comprised the Hyperion class cruisers Amundsen and Prometheus and the eight small ex-Centauri warships. The two Hyperions left their positions near the salvage ships and set course for the V833 Tau jump point, planning to arrive before the Abbai commercial shipping. The ex-Centauri Sulust was dispatched to pick up survivors from the Ajax.



As repairs were underway at Earth and ships were becoming available, a new Expeditionary Force, comprising the Omega class destroyers Alexander and Damocles, the Hyperions class cruisers Aegean and Astraeus, the Hyperion-J jump cruiser Selene and the frigates Artemis, Hemera, was dispatched to 70 Sagittarii. Due to the relatively short distance from Sol, going via Proxima rather than the direct route through the Sol - 61 Hydrae jump point, they arrived before the Hyperions had reached their destination and followed in their wakes.

As the Hyperions arrived at the V833 Tau jump point, they detected three Abraxas class scouts, roughly in the direction of the 75 Sagittarii jump point. A flight of five Starfuries was sent to intercept. Two Abbai ships were destroyed and the third surrendered. A new days later, the Expeditionary Force arrived at V833 Tau jump point, where it was join by the two Hyperions. A shuttle was sent into V833 Tau and detected only a Talona class diplomatic ship. A small flight of Starfuries was launched through the jump point to destroy the Abbai ship. The shuttle headed for the inner system to check for activity, while the Expeditionary Force remained in 70 Sagittarii.

Expeditionary Force
Omega class Destroyer: Alexander, Damocles
Hyperion - J class Cruiser: Selene
Hyperion class Cruiser: Aegean, Amundsen, Astraeus, Prometheus
Artemis class Frigate: Artemis, Hemera
2x Invader class Breaching Pod:
112x SF-1A Starfury class Fighter:
7x Kestrel class Shuttle:

With the shuttle still one point six billion kilometres from the star, it detected a 6000-ton vessel of a new alien race on a reciprocal course at 3662 km/s. The shuttle immediately hailed the newcomer, designated as Owl class, and received an response, albeit unintelligible. The shuttle was re-tasked to shadow the alien ship and the frigate Artemis moved into V833 Tau to monitor that side of the jump point. EarthDome was quickly informed of the events. Even with two so-far-successful wars against the Centauri and Abbai, there was little appetite for yet another conflict, not least because it would further stretch a Fleet with many existing commitments. The Omega class destroyers Cerberus and Orion, plus two Artemis class frigates, were dispatched from Earth to reinforce the new Expeditionary Force.

As the Owl class ship drew close to the jump point, it became apparent it was not on an exact course. Instead, it moved to the wreck of the Talona and picked up the Abbai survivors from the life pods, then held that position. The intelligence data gathered from other Abbai crews had included information that the Abbai were at war with an unknown race. Given the new alien race was discovered a single jump from the Abbi home system, it seemed very likely they were the aforementioned hostiles. A few hours after visiting the wreck, the Owl headed back in-system with the shuttle still shadowing.

Ten days later, the Owl was back and this time it moved straight to the jump point and held position. The shuttle was sent back to join the Expeditionary Force in 70 Sagittarii, while the frigate Artemis monitored the alien ship. A day later, the alien headed back to the inner system, moving out of the frigate’s sensor range. After a further two weeks, on August 26th 2252, a new force of four alien ships appeared forty million kilometres from the jump point; a 12,000 ton Solarhawk, a 6000-ton Darkhawk, a 6000-ton Nightfalcon and an Owl class, although not the same ship that previously visited the jump point. After staying for a couple of hours, the alien ships departed toward the inner system. So far, communication attempts with the aliens had yielded little progress so, on September 1st, the Babylon Two station was towed into V833 Tau and left on the 70 Sagittarii jump point.



On October 6th, the ex-Abbai survey ship located a new, stabilised jump point in V833 Tau. A Kestrel-J shuttle from Hector was dispatched to investigate. It arrived on October 21st, finding a new 7000-ton alien ship, designated as Star Eagle class, already on the jump point. The shuttle transited and discovered 60 Scorpii, a G1-V star similar to Sol, orbited by five planets. 60 Scorpii was an ideal habitable world dominated by temperate forests, with gravity of 1.18G, oceans covering thirty percent of the surface and a nitrogen-oxygen atmosphere of 0.93 atm. This was very likely to be the home world of the new alien race, the third to be discovered in a little over two years. The shuttle headed in-system to gather more information.



Offline Steve Walmsley (OP)

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Re: Earth Alliance Updates Thread
« Reply #5 on: January 23, 2021, 09:06:22 AM »
The Kestrel-J shuttle in 60 Scorpii arrived within active sensor range of the planet and detected fifty-five ships in orbit, far less than had been detected in orbit of the Centauri and Abbai home worlds. The population signature was slightly smaller than Earth, so this was another major race. In the outer system were the wrecks of three 12,000 ton ships, designated as Sunhawks, and three 6000-ton wrecks, designated as War Talons. Given the intelligence from Abbai prisoners was that the Abbai were at war with an alien race, it seemed reasonable to assume the Abbai were responsible for the wrecks. The shuttle  headed for the first planet, a superjovian, to check for fuel harvesters, finding nothing. En route, the shuttle received a message from the planet. The alien language had yet to be translated, but the content of the message was unlikely to be ‘Welcome Aliens!’. The Kestrel-J set course for the V833 Tau jump point.

Alien Ships
6x Stormhawk: 89,000 tons
4x Strikehawk: 18,000 tons
3x Sunhawk: 12,000 tons
4x Stormfalcon: 12,000 tons
4x Storm Eagle: 12,000 tons
11x Solarhawk: 12,000 tons
2x Darkhawk: 6000 tons
2x Owl: 6000 tons
5x Nightfalcon: 6000 tons
14x War Talon: 6000 tons



The exploration ship Icarus completed an overhaul and was dispatched to 70 Sagittarii to explore beyond the jump point to 75 Aurigae. Her sister ship Ajax had been destroyed four months earlier by Abbai ships lurking in 75 Aurigae, although those ships had all transited into 70 Sagittarii and headed for the V833 Tau jump point. An Alliance fleet had been stationed on that V833 Tau jump point for most of the intervening time with no sign of the aliens, so it was possible they had returned to 75 Aurigae. Icarus halted ten million kilometres from the jump point and sent her shuttle to check the far side. The Kestrel-J transited and found the same group of Abbai ships. Even as the first AMMs were launched, the shuttle transited back into 70 Sagittarii and ran towards Icarus. The Abbai did not follow, allowing the shuttle to land safely.



With the location of the Abbai confirmed, the Expeditionary Force detached two Hyperion class cruisers and two frigates with orders to guard the 75 Aurigae jump point. The jump cruiser Helios was dispatched from Earth. When it arrived, the cruisers would mount a jump point assault. A second force, comprising two Omega class destroyers, the Hyperion-J Selene, two Hyperion class cruisers and two frigates, was dispatched to the Centauri home system of Pi-3 Orionis. They would launch an assault into 78 Ophiuchi to destroy any Centauri ships remaining in that system. EarthDome was keen to remove any distractions in case hostilities broke out with the new alien race.

Full contact was established with the new aliens on November 14th 2252. They identified themselves as the Drazi Freehold. Discussion began at EarthDome regarding the response of the Alliance if the Drazi attempted to claim the V833 Tau system, which was adjacent to their home world. Those discussions were only a day old when they were thrown into complete disarray by a new contact. Yet another unknown alien race, the fourth to be discovered in less than three years, was detected in 61 Hydrae. The key system connected directly to Sol, the Abbai home system of 70 Sagittarii and the colony in Proxima Centauri.

There were five alien ships of three types travelling at the incredible speed of 13,000 km/s and apparently on course for the innermost planet. Only their thermal signatures were known as they were detected by the sensor station on the second planet of 61 Hydrae. As those signatures were less than strength-200, it suggested they were relatively small; perhaps between a Starfury and a breaching pod in size.  How the aliens had arrived in the system was a mystery. Police cutters were stationed on the Sol and Proxima jump points and there was a picket force of seven ships on the 70 Sagittarii  - 61 Hydrae jump point. The only remaining route was via Bernard’s Star, but that was a surveyed chain of three systems that only led to the Centauri home system of Pi-3 Orionis. It seemed likely that a dormant jump point had opened either in 61 Hydrae or one of the systems in the Bernard’s Star chain.



Given the apparent high technology of the aliens and their presence in a system adjacent to Sol, all other considerations were suddenly secondary. The Expeditionary Force at the 70 Sagittarii – V833 Tau jump point, guarding against the Drazi, was ordered to pull back to 61 Hydrae, as were the two cruisers heading for the 75 Aurigae jump point. The frigate Artemis pulled back into 70 Sagittarii to act as an early warning picket against the Drazi, leaving only the Babylon Two station and a pair of survey ships in V833 Tau. The fleet heading into Centauri space was recalled to Sol and a new force comprising two Omegas, two Hyperions and two frigates was ordered to take up position at the Sol – 61 Hydrae jump point. This fleet would follow the longer route across Sol, rather than moving through Proxima. One of the two Omegas, Achilles, had a reduced strikegroup due to the demands on new fighter construction. Earth was left with only skeleton forces until the ships returned from Centauri space.

The alien ships moved into orbit of the innermost planet and immediately disappeared from sensors as their engines shut down. The picket force on the 70 Sagittarii  - 61 Hydrae jump point comprised two police cutters and five ex-Centauri ships; two Vorchan and three Mograth. One of the Tethys class police cutters was left in 70 Sagittarii to act as a sensor picket and the other five ships transited into 61 Hydrae. One of the Mograths then detached from the rest and moved toward the innermost planet, trying to pick up the aliens on active sensors. On the assumption the alien ships were fairly small, the Mograth was selected due to its resolution-1 sensor.

The Mograth was still twenty-seven million kilometres from the planet when the alien ships began moving again and were picked up by the tracking station on the second planet. They were on course for the innermost planet’s Lagrange point, at which point they vanished from sensors. The Mograth was ordered to follow and reacquire. At 5157 km/s, it was faster than the Alliance-built ships. The police cutter in the small picket force was ordered to the Bernard’s Star jump point to provide a sensor picket, leaving two Mograth and two Vorchan class ships on the 61 Hydrae – 70 Sagittarii jump point, plus another police cutter on the far side. Suddenly, forty minutes after jumping, the five alien ships jumped back to the Lagrange point and were detected by the Mograth. They were between 689 tons and 718 tons.



The Mograth attempted to keep the alien ships on sensors as they moved across its path, but their speed was too great and the active contact was lost. The tracking station on the second planet maintained thermal contact so the Mograth followed in their wake. Thermal contact was eventually lost as well but two of the ships, a Termagaunt and a Zoanthrope, had their own sensors active and could be tracked via their emissions. They were heading away from the inner system in no particular direction with nothing ahead of them, although it was roughly in the direction from which they arrived. It was possible the aliens knew about a jump point that was dormant when the Alliance surveyed the system.



The aliens continued outward, but maintained a ninety million kilometre gap to the pursuing Mograth. EarthDome hoped this meant the aliens would try to communicate, although nothing had been forthcoming so far, but it also suggested that they could track the 8000-ton escort at that range with a sensor that would fit on a 700-ton ship, which also had enough engine power to maintain 13,000 km/s. The technology gap was extremely worrying.

The five alien ships were more than half a billion kilometres from the star with the Mograth still following, when a second, identical group appeared thirteen million kilometres from the four ex-Centaurii ships on the 70 Sagittarii jump point; a Zoanthrope, a Termagaunt and three Hormagaunts. They were detected by one of the two Mograths. The police cutter Pandora, located on the far side of the jump point, transited into 61 Hydrae to join the picket force as the aliens approached.



Ten minutes later, sensor emissions were detected from two more Zoanthropes, approximately two hundred million kilometres from both the Sol and 70 Sagittarii jump points. They were in the same general area from which the first group of ships had approached. The proliferation of alien ships in 61 Hydrae was causing great concern at the headquarters of the EarthForce Space Corps and at EarthDome itself. Two minutes after the detection, the emissions ceased and the contacts vanished.



The five alien ships close to the 70 Sagittarii jump point continue to close on the picket force. The five Alliance ships, two ex-Centauri Vorchans, two ex-Centauri Mograths and a Tethys class police cutter, hailed the aliens without any response. Commander Naomi Jackson of the Pandora requested permission to open fire if the aliens moved to close range. That was denied by Vice Admiral Theseus Argos, commander of the EarthForce Space Corps with the support his of superior, Admiral Harrison Tyler, overall commander of EarthForce. The four Omegas and four Hyperions in in 70 Sagittarii needed two weeks to return to 61 Hydrae and the two Omegas and two Hyperions sent to hunt down the last of the Centauri Navy were eleven days from home. A third force, comprising two Omegas, two Hyperions and two frigates, had been diverted from the original course to the Sol – 61 Hydrae jump point and sent through Proxima instead, which would put them in 61 Hydrae in five days.

The alien ships closed to point blank range and opened fire, concentrating on one of the Vorchans. The three Hormagaunts each fired a weapon similar to a laser than inflicted strength-3 hits. The single Termagaunt fired a microwave weapon that bypassed armour and damaged electronic systems. The Vorchan lost its active sensor and one of its two fire control systems. The alien weapons recharged quickly, firing again after just five seconds. The microwave weapon knocked out the remaining fire control on the targeted Vorchan and the frigate was out of the fight, despite still having three intact particle beams.

The Alliance ships returned fire, with the Pandora concentrating on the dangerous Termagaunt and scoring one hit with her medium pulse cannon, nine hits with light pulse cannon and eight hits with her interceptor turret. The undamaged Vorchan also targeted the Termagaunt, hitting with one of its three particle beams. The two Mograth each scored six hits with their interceptor turrets on different Hormagaunts. The alien ships turned their fire on Pandora. The cutter was hit by all three laser weapons, which cut through her armour but did not cause internal damage, and the Termagaunt’s microwave weapon, which took out both passive sensors. The return volley from Pandora destroyed the deadly Termagaunt, while the Mograths continued firing on the Hormagaunts, without any armour penetration. The combat capable Vorchan had a fifteen second recharge rate for its particle beams, which was a long time in the brutal, point-blank knife fight.

The Hormagaunts targeted Pandora again, striking in different armour locations. The Alliance ships spread their fire against the Hormagaunts, ignoring the lone Zoanthrope as it was not firing. Only a single hit penetrated armour, but that was sufficient for the Hormagaunt to cease fire. The other two attacked Pandora again and once again hit fresh armour. The police cutter’s luck finally ran out as the next volley from both active Hormagaunts went straight through the armour, knocking out one of her two medium pulse cannon and disabling the fast-tracking fire control for the interceptor turret. The already disabled Hormagaunt was destroyed by a Mograth.

Pandora took two more armour hits, then a third, before a second Hormagaunt was destroyed by the two Mograths. The last Hormagaunt hit Pandora again, knocking out her interceptor turret, then the Vorchan that had been struck early in the battle reported further damage that disabled an engine, despite a lack of incoming fire. The Hormagaunt weapons apparently caused some form of residual acidic damage. That did not bode well for Pandora, as the cutter had taken more than a dozen hits. Pandora suffered one final armour hit, before the Mograths took down the last Hormagaunt. Pandora, the combat-capable Vorchan and the Mograths turned their fire on the Zoanthrope, which was trying to ram a salvage ship on the jump point. The crippled Vorchan suffered further acid damage and Pandora also reported a similar phenomenon.

The Zoanthrope was blown to pieces before it could carry out a ramming attack, leaving the jump point clear of alien ships. The damage was not over however. The acidic after-effects of the Hormagaunt weapons continued to burn through Pandora’s internal systems, destroying her weapons one by one. The Vorchan, although suffering far fewer hits overall, also continued to take damage. The alien weapon appeared to cause twice as much damage as originally believed, with half of the damage spread over the two minutes following the initial impact. To make it worse, the laser-like damage profile of the weapon meant the acid starting burning from well inside the armour, or in the case of Pandora, from inside the hull.

The Vorchan had mainly suffered damage from microwave weapons, so it was able to survive the acid aftermath, albeit with significant damage. Pandora was in far worse shape. Despite surviving the actual battle with the loss of a fire control and a couple of weapons, the acid burned through the ship until Pandora suffered a catastrophic failure and exploded. One third of her crew made it to the life pods, along with Commander Jackson. Five alien ships, one of which was unarmed, totalling less than four thousand tons had faced ten times their tonnage and still destroyed a 6875-ton police cutter and seriously damaged an 8000-ton ex-Centauri frigate. The technological gap was huge and it placed the Alliance in great jeopardy. Normally, that gap could be addressed by retrieving technology from alien wrecks, but for some reason the alien ships disappeared when destroyed, with no sign of wreckage.

Given the lethal hostility of the aliens, the Mograth chasing the other five-shop group into the outer system was ordered to fall back. Unfortunately, the sensor emissions from the two Zoanthropes reappeared on an intercept heading and the ships that the Mograth was following now reversed their own course, trapping the Mograth between them. Once the Zoanthropes were in sensor range, the Mograth also detected a third Zoanthrope, eight Hormagaunts with acid weapons and ten Termagaunts with their deadly microwaves. Even a capital ship would be rendered helpless if the Termagants disabled its electronics. The Mograth readied its weapons for a point blank encounter similar to that fought at the 70 Sagittarii jump point, but the Hormagaunts opened fire at 178,000 km. The Termagaunts added their microwaves at 89,000 km, disabling both of the Mograth’s fire controls. The battle was over thirty seconds after the first shot was fired.



The most concerning new knowledge was the range of the alien weapons. Alliance officers were already considering mass Starfury attacks as a potential way to destroy the aliens, but the small alien ships were faster and had much longer-ranged weapons, which means the Starfuries could be wiped out in deep space without the ability to respond. Less than eight hours after the destruction of the Mograth, the new larger alien force re-appeared near the battered picket force on the 70 Sagittarii jump point. There was no chance the four ships could fight the alien fleet, so they retreated into 70 Sagittarii and prepared a desperate jump point defence. There was no immediate pursuit. All the salvage ships working in 70 Sagittarii were ordered to cease operations and head toward the V833 Tau jump point, which was the direction from which the Expeditionary Force was approaching.

Four days later, the force dispatched from Earth after the first alien detection transited the Proxima – 61 Hydrae jump point. The fleet, comprising the Omega class destroyers Achilles and Agamemnon, the jump cruiser Helios, the Hyperion class cruisers Hyperion and Pallas, the Artemis class frigates Andromeda and Aphrodite and the police cutter Janus, was the first significant Alliance force to enter 61 Hydrae since the destruction of Pandora. The Alliance ships used a LaGrange point to jump to the orbit of the first planet then headed toward the 70 Sagittarii jump point. Their arrival promoted the movement of a Zoanthrope, which was subsequently detected transiting a previously unknown jump point about a hundred million kilometres from the 70 Sagittarii jump point. At least the source of the alien ships was now known; a previously dormant jump point in one of the Alliance’s most important systems.



The Expeditionary Force in 70 Sagittarii was still a week from the far side of the jump point, so the new force took up station to protect their exit. The salvage ships in 70 Sagittarii reversed course and went back to work. Two days later, the emissions from two alien ships of a new type, designated as Gargoyle class, were detected on the recently discovered jump point. Less than two hours later, more emissions, this time from three Zoanthropes, split between two locations, and a Termagaunt, all of which were heading for the Alliance ships on the 70 Sagittarii jump point. However, after the first ships covered two thirds of the distance to the Alliance fleet, they all reversed course and disappeared again near the new jump point.



On November 29th, a large formation of alien ships, comprising forty-three Hormagaunts, nine Termagaunts and five Zoanthropes, was detected heading for the 70 Sagittarii jump point. With only four capital ships on the jump point, the fleet commander, Captain Viktor Riegel, was reluctant to engage, especially as the Expeditionary Force was only four hours away from the jump point on the far side. However, if the fleet transited and the aliens followed, they would be overtaken before they could rendezvous anyway. He effectively had two choices; hold position and fire as they approached, or transit and hope the aliens suffered jump shock. In the latter case, there was also the potential for the aliens to not transit and instead hold the jump point, trapping more than half the capital ships of the EarthForce Space Corps in the Abbai home system. In that situation, the Expeditionary Force would have to make a standard transit, causing a long period of jump shock, during which it would have to endure the fast-firing and devastating alien weapons.



As that would be something of a nightmare scenario, Captain Riegel decided to hold position and fight. The fleet’s seventy-nine Starfuries were launched and took up position with the capital ships. Riegel intended to send them forward just as the alien attack craft were about to enter weapon range, in an attempt to distract them from the four capital ships. Just as the alien armada was about to move within half a million kilometres, it suddenly reversed course and headed back toward the unexplored jump point. Why they came so close and then retreated was unknown, although the Starfuries could have been a factor. Four hours later, the Expeditionary Force arrived and joined with the force from Earth, creating a combined fleet with six Omega class destroyers, four Hyperions, a Hyperion-J, three frigates and a police cutter, plus the four ex-Centauri frigates. The combined strike groups had a total of two hundred and forty-three Starfuries. Two Hyperions were still in 70 Sagittarii, two days out from the 61 Hydrae jump point.

The combined fleet was under the command of Commodore Aella Phoenix, her promotion taking place ten days earlier. It was unlikely a stronger Alliance force would be formed in the near future, so Commodore Phoenix gave the order to advance on the unexplored jump point. If the aliens could be attacked and destroyed as they entered 61 Hydrae, it would cut the immediate problem off at the source.

Six minutes after the fleet arrived at the jump point, the armada of alien attack craft jumped into 61 Hydrae; forty-six Hormagaunts, ten Termagants and six Zoanthropes. Given the alien craft had fast-firing weapons and therefore time was of the essence, Commodore Phoenix ordered her ships to pick their own targets and open fire. The lack of coordination meant that some targets would not be attacked, but it was better to fire at something than suffer a delay as the ships coordinated their targeting. The Starfuries all launched and each fighter selected its own targets. The alien craft were suffering from jump shock and the Expeditionary Force took full advantage. Fifteen seconds after the transit, half of the alien craft had been destroyed without firing a shot. After thirty seconds, the space around the jump point was clear.

For now, 61 Hydrae had been secured. However, the Alliance could not maintain such a large fleet on the jump point indefinitely. A long-term solution was required; either seeking out and destroying the aliens, which was dangerous given their much higher technology and their much faster ships, or finding a way to maintain a sizeable permanent force on the jump point. The first step was to understand what lay on the far side.

A Kestrel shuttle transited, while the jump cruiser Helios held the jump point open. It detected thirty-nine alien ships on the jump point, comprising two 21,382-ton Gargoyle class, two 10,496-ton Hive Guard class, three Zoanthropes, eight Hormagaunts, ten Termagaunts and fourteen of a new class of 718 tons, designated as Genestealer class. The Gargoyles and Hive Guards were the first large alien ships to be detected. The shuttle suffered two hits from the alien microwave weapon, losing all its sensors, but managed to escape back into 61 Hydrae without being destroyed. The system beyond the jump point was 66 Serpentis; a red dwarf orbited by five unremarkable planets and almost three hundred asteroids.



Admiral Harrison Tyler considered ordering Commodore Phoenix to enter 66 Serpentis and eliminate the alien fleet. Unfortunately, with only a single jump cruiser the fleet could only send through three ships in a squadron jump while the rest would have to use a standard transit, making them extremely vulnerable. There was also concern about the potential armament of the four larger ships. The decision was made to hold the fleet at the jump point in the short-term while trying to improve the technology and capabilities of the Alliance as quickly as possible.

Nine hours after the previous engagement, the four large alien ships transited into 61 Hydrae. They arrived in two pairs, either side of the jump point, with each pair consisting of a Hive Guard and a Gargoyle. As before, Commodore Phoenix ordered her ships and fighters to choose their own targets. She took the capital ships toward one pair of enemy ships while the fighter groups closed on the other. The Gargoyles were twice as large as the Hive Guards and took the brunt of the Alliance fire. One died within five seconds and the other within ten. One Hive Guard recovered quickly from jump shock, destroying two Starfuries ten seconds after transit. It was armed with eighteen acid-laser weapons, similar to those on the Hormagaunts, mounted in nine twin turrets.

The fighters swarmed the active Hive Guard and destroyed it. The second Hive Guard scored a single hit on Agamemnon, then increased speed to 8574 km/s and moved out of range, heading for the inner system. Phoenix ordered the Starfuries to pursue it, while the capital ships moved back to the jump point. The fighters had a 1400 km/s speed advantage but still had to close through the longer-ranged fire of the Hive Guard. There was no other option though as the alien ship would wreak havoc if it was allowed to roam around the system at will.

The first fighter was hit at 95,000 km. Due to the high rate of fire from the Hive Guard, the Starfuries were only closing the range by 7000 km between each volley and their own weapons were ineffective above 40,000 km due to the electronic countermeasures of the alien ship. Once they were within effective range, the Hive Guard was blown to pieces within ten seconds due to sheer weight of fire. Fourteen Starfuries were lost, most of them before they could fire back. The rest returned to the capital ships to await the next alien attack.

Offline Steve Walmsley (OP)

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Re: Earth Alliance Updates Thread
« Reply #6 on: January 31, 2021, 11:43:04 AM »
Even with the momentous events in and around 61 Hydrae, life continued in the rest of the Alliance. The exploration ship Orpheus transited a jump point in Kapteyn’s Star, three jumps from Sol via Alpha Centauri and HH Andromedae, and discovered Altair, a blinding white A-class sub-giant, with three times the mass and thirty-six times the luminosity of Sol. The star had eleven planets, with the outermost a superjovian with eleven moons, orbiting at a staggering fourteen trillion kilometres, or one point five light years, from the primary. The superjovian required sixteen million years to complete a single orbit. The first three planets were within three billion kilometres, with the next three at nine, seventeen and thirty-six billion respectively. The fifth planet and beyond would only be surveyed if the inner system produced significant mineral discoveries. The only colony class 2.00 body in the system was a small moon of the second planet, although it lacked both atmosphere and water.

On December 9th, nine days after the previous attack, a new formation of alien small craft transited into 61 Hydrae, comprising ten Termagaunts, eight Hormagaunts and three Zoanthropes. As with the previous mass transit, the small craft were using standard transits, which made them much more vulnerable. All twenty-one were eliminated within fifteen seconds. The larger alien ships had used squadron transits in the previous assault, which allowed them to fire as early as ten seconds after transit. A shuttle was sent through to check the far side of the jump point. The alien force had increased substantially, with eight Hive Guards and six 21,000-ton ships of a new type, designated as Carnifex class. Given the difficulty in containing just two Hive Guards, the alien force would be difficult to handle if it all transited at once.



The Alliance’s senior military commanders were summoned to EarthDome to discuss strategy. The Expeditionary Force included six of the Fleet’s ten Omega class destroyers and four of the ten Hyperions. If they were lost, Earth would be in serious jeopardy. The aliens had already launched three assaults into 61 Hydrae and while those were defeated, a much larger force was now assembled at the far side of the jump point. If that force got out of weapon range of the capital ships, the Starfuries would not be able to handle them and the Expeditionary Force would not be able to force an engagement. There was also concern that the cruiser-sized alien ships could have longer-range weapons than the Alliance, given the aliens had already demonstrated a far higher level of technology.

One option was to pull everything back to Earth and defend the home world. However, resources would not last long and off-world mining and fuel production was required. There was also concern that if the aliens did have long-range weapons, they might be able to target the shipyards in Earth orbit from outside Alliance weapon range. Finally, if the new aliens conquered the Abbai or the Centauri, it would provide them with huge resources. For now the decision was to hold the jump point and try to improve defence and propulsion technologies. The aliens were also assigned a name – the Drakh – to distinguish them from the other three known alien races.

The situation was complicated on December 13th when the exploration ship Daedalus transited an unexplored jump point in Kapteyn’s Star and arrived in Bernard’s Star, which was adjacent to 61 Hydrae. The new connection meant that if the Drakh managed to take 61 Hydrae, they could approach the Sol system through all five jump points. They could enter Sol directly via the jump point from 61 Hydrae or use the route through Proxima. Moving into Bernard’s Star from 61 Hydrae allowed them to pass through Kapteyn’s Star and HH Andromedae into Alpha Centauri, from where they could enter Sol directly or move into 61 Cygni and enter Sol from that system. Finally they could travel down the chain from Bernard’s Star to the Centauri home system of Pi-3 Orionis and from there through AX Microscopii into Sol. As there was no way to effectively defend all five of Sol’s jump points, the battle had to be fought in 61 Hydrae, or in Earth orbit.



The exploration ship Daedalus moved back into Kapteyn’s Star and transited the remaining unexplored jump point, discovering the system of 81 Draconis. The red dwarf primary was orbited by three terrestrial worlds, two of which had substantial ice sheets and nitrogen – oxygen atmospheres, albeit with only 0.05 and 0.07 atm of oxygen. As the planets had the potential for life, Daedalus dispatched her Kestrel-J shuttle to the inner system while she began a gravitational survey. On January 1st 2253, three hundred and thirty million kilometres from the star, the shuttle detected a ship from a previously unknown alien race. The fifth to be discovered within just three years.



The alien ship, designated as Skychaser class, was 8,536 tons and moving at 7,310 km/s. The early days of expansion into space had given the Alliance a false sense of superiority. This was the third race to have a speed advantage, including the Centauri, and the speed of the Skychaser was closer to the larger Drakh ships, which potentially indicated a similar advantage in weapon technology. The Kestrel could not run so it proceeded on course, trying to hail the alien ship. The alien passed within half a million kilometres then maintained that distance, shadowing the shuttle as it approached the inner system.

Three hours later, the shuttle detected the emissions from two identical active sensors on a reciprocal course. When the range closed to twenty-four million kilometres, the shuttle detected six ships in total; a 17,056 ton Ravager class, three 8,547-ton Firewalker class, a Vanquisher and an Avenger, both of which were 8,513 tons. The new ships had a speed of 4867 km/s. Less than two minutes after the detection of the alien ships, the shuttle was destroyed by five missiles with strength-6 warheads. Daedalus was two billion kilometres away in the outer system. She set course for the Kapteyn’s Star jump point to report yet another hostile alien race.

The message was relayed via the stabilised jump point to HH Andromedae and from there via Alpha Centauri to Earth, where it caused great concern for EarthDome. The Alliance now faced four hostile alien races, plus the Drazi, who still issued occasional requests for the Babylon Two station to be withdrawn from V833 Tau. The Centauri and the Abbai had both suffered massive losses, although they still retained the full industrial output of their home worlds, minus their shipyards, and had ships deployed in systems adjacent to their home worlds; 78 Ophiuchi for the Centauri and 75 Aurigae for the Abbai. The Drakh were being held at the 61 Hydrae – 66 Serpentis jump point for the moment, although their losses were light and their technological advantage was substantial. There was also the chance they would appear somewhere less well guarded, especially given the number of interconnections in the system near to Sol.

The new aliens in 81 Draconis presented an unknown level of threat. Assuming the first ship encountered was an unarmed scout, their warships were apparently faster than the Alliance, but slower than the Centauri. That still suggested a potential technological edge. Their numbers and industrial strength were complete unknowns, as was their desire for expansion toward Earth. If they entered Kapteyn’s Star, they were two jumps from Earth via HH Andromedae and Alpha Centauri, but they were also two jumps from 61 Hydrae via Bernard’s Star. Unfortunately, no substantial force could be sent without weakening the defence against the Drakh or the defences of Earth. A police cutter was dispatched to picket the Kapteyn’s Star – 81 Draconis jump point to alert the Alliance if the aliens did make a move into the former system. At that point, new options would be considered.

During the first three months of 2253, the salvage operations continued apace in 70 Sagittarii, the Abbai home system. Two Corinth class salvage ships, two Mycenae class salvage stations and the three small ex-Abbai Thebes class ships were all deployed to 70 Sagittarii and by April every wreck had been salvaged for minerals, components and technology. All warships had also been withdrawn with the exception of a police cutter deployed at the V833 Tau jump point to monitor any Drazi entry to the system and two ships, an Artemis class frigate and an ex-Centauri Vorchan, deployed as a picket force at the 61 Hydrae jump point.

In late April 2253, the Expeditionary Force was still deployed in 61 Hydrae at the 66 Serpentis jump point, but had been reduced to four Omegas, four Hyperions, four Artemis class frigates and four Vorchans. There had been no Drakh incursions since December 2252. With the lack of activity, the EarthForce Space Corps was taking the opportunity to overhaul several capital ships. The Omega class destroyer Roanoke, monitoring the Centauri home world, had been replaced by her sister ship Acheron and was also undergoing an overhaul. Hope was beginning to rise at EarthDome that the Drakh would give the Alliance sufficient time to develop new weapons and ships.

That hope was dashed on April 23rd when a Drakh ship unexpectedly transited into Pi-3 Orionis, the Centauri home system. The 3400-ton ship, a new type designated as Lictor class, transited from 78 Ophiuchi, a system that was believed to be occupied by a number of Centauri ship, including warships. The appearance of the Drakh raised the question of what happened to the Centauri. A Kestrel class shuttle was picketing the jump point and found itself less than forty thousand kilometres from the intruder. Also in the system was the Omega class destroyer Acheron, orbiting a moon of the Centauri home world, a small picket force of one frigate and two police cutters on the AX Microscopii jump point and two more shuttles, picketing the jump points to 12 Ophiuchi and 76 Ophiuchi.



As the Lictor had not opened fire, the senior officer in Pi-3 Orionis, Captain Ellen Triton of the Acheron, ordered the shuttle to transit into 78 Ophiuchi and scout the far side. It did not return. Apart from the warships and the small colony on the second moon of Centauri Prime, there were no Alliance assets in the system, so the appearance of the Drakh did not cause an immediate threat, except perhaps to the Centauri home world. However, there was an Alliance colony in the adjacent system of AX Microscopii plus the captured Centauri fuel harvesters. There was also the potential for the Drakh to move along through 76 Ophiuchi into Psi Ceti, from where they could advance on Sol via Wolf 359 and Alpha Centauri or via Bernard’s Star and 61 Hydrae.

 Acheron dispatched one of her own shuttles to the jump point to replace the presumably destroyed shuttle and warn of further Drakh incursions. Half a billion kilometres from the jump point, the shuttle detected a new 3,300-ton Drakh ship, designated as Pyrovore class. The Pyrovore was on a parallel course, apparently heading for the same jump point at 8913 km/s, and soon moved out of sensor range. The shuttle arrived on the jump point without detecting any further Drakh ships.



By mid-May the survey of the giant Altair system was well underway. The exploration ships Daedalus, Orpheus and Perseus had surveyed almost half the system, when the latter discovered the first new jump point. As the jump point was close to Perseus, her commander decided to investigate immediately. On May 17th 2253, she transited into Xi Leporis, a red dwarf system with five planets, one of which was a warm, ocean world dotted with chains of islands. The nitrogen – oxygen atmosphere was 0.36 atm, albeit with only 0.014 atm of oxygen, so it was an excellent terraforming candidate. Or it would have been if not for the three alien ships on the far side of the jump point.

The three ships were from yet another new alien race, the sixth to be discovered in less than four years. The largest was a commercial engined design of 73,000 tons, designated as Torotha class. It was accompanied by two smaller military vessels; a Tragati class of 17,262 tons and a Leshath class of 8610 tons. Give the location and configuration of the alien squadron, it appeared to be a stabilisation ship and escorts. Given the difficult strategic situation in which the Alliance found itself, it could not afford conflict with another alien race. Fortunately, Xi Leporis was four jumps from Sol so there was no immediate threat. Perseus left her jump-capable shuttle to attempt communication and pulled back into Altair.



On June 16th, two Drakh Pyrovore class ships jumped into 61 Hydrae from 66 Serpentis, the first incursion in six months. The ships were 3300 tons and capable of 8900 km/s. They presented no threat to the Expeditionary Force, which blew them to pieces within seconds of their transit. The function of the Pyrovore was unknown, but given that the only unit of the class so far encountered had ignored a Kestrel class shuttle, the prevailing theory was they were some form of survey ship.

A week later, full communication was established with the recently discovered race in Xi Leporis, which called itself the Minbari Federation. To accomplish the task in just five weeks was impressive enough, but the fact it been done by the eight crewmembers of a Kestrel-J class shuttle was an remarkable achievement. Lieutenant Commander Gaia Baltar, captain of the shuttle, was promoted to Commander and awarded the Alliance Medal. A new diplomatic station, Babylon Three, was en route to the system, being towed by a Hercules class tug.

Five days after communication was established with the Minbari, three ships from another new alien race appeared at the same jump point. The galaxy was proving to be a very crowded place. The new squadron was similar in size to the Minbari squadron and also comprised a large commercial-engined ship and two military-engined escorts; a Ja’Dul of 68,000 tons, a Dag’Kar of 17,267 tons and a Sho’Kar of 8639 tons. Commander Baltar hailed the new arrivals and began communication attempts. The two alien squadrons were not shooting at one another so they seemed to be friendly, or at least neutral to each other.

On July 15th, a Minbari Esharan class ship of 8645 tons transited into Altair, adjacent to the contact system of Xi Leporis. For now the Minbari and the new alien race would be left alone, except for diplomatic contact. The existing small colony in Kapteyn’s Star, which lay between Altair and the rest of the Alliance, would be increased in size with the intention of claiming the system if the Minbari progressed further. Kapteyn’s Star was also adjacent to the hostile aliens in 81 Draconis.

A few days later, the exploration ship Icarus entered an unexplored jump point in Omega Ceti, three jumps from Sol via Alpha Centauri and Wolf 359, and arrived in GL Virginis, a red dwarf system with four planets. in GL Virginis II was a terrestrial world, larger than Earth, and entirely covered by frozen oceans. The atmosphere was almost breathable, with sufficient oxygen but at too high a concentration for human tolerance. The planet was a good terraforming prospect, although the temperature of -51C would have to be addressed. Icarus began a gravitational survey while her shuttle headed in-system. Two hundred and fifty million kilometres from the planet, it was intercepted by a Skychaser class ship of the hostile Draconis aliens. The shuttle turned and ran for the jump point. The Skychaser followed for a few hours then broke off.

Full communications with the new aliens in Xi Leporis was established in late July 2253. The aliens, who identified themselves as part of the Narn Regime, were hairless humanoids, generally taller than most humans with a stocky build, red eyes and a yellow-orange complexion, distinctly mottled with patterns of brown and/or green spots. They seemed content to continue talking and had made no demands. The Minbari had suggested that the Alliance should leave Xi Leporis but were not pushing the issue. A similar situation existed with the Drazi in V833 Tau.

In mid-August, a new Minbari squadron was detected by the Babylon Three station in Xi Leporis, comprising a 17,262-ton Tragati, a 17,270 Shargoti and four 8635-ton ships of three different classes. All the Minbari ships except the Tragati were new types. The squadron was closing on the jump point at 3242 km/s, then suddenly reversed course at twenty million kilometres and started to move away. Twenty minutes after the initial detection, Babylon Three detected twenty-eight missiles inbound at 15,520 km/s. Even though the missiles were slow and suggested the Minbari had a lower level of technology than the Alliance, the station had no defences. The sixty-six crew could only watch them approach.



A second wave of twenty-eight missiles was detected before the first one arrived. The crew of the station braced themselves. Suddenly the 8639-ton Narn Sho’Kar class ship on the jump point opened fire with seven twin laser turrets, destroying six of the inbounds. Fourteen of the remaining missiles exploded, although it wasn’t clear which Narn ship had been hit. The warheads were strength-4. The Dag’Kar began launching anti-missile missiles with a speed of 20,200 km/s. Three waves of Narn AMMs destroyed seventeen missiles from the second wave of Minbari anti-ship missiles. Eight more were destroyed by the Sho’Kar. A single missile detonated on target.

The Minbari squadron held position twenty-two million kilometres from the jump point and continued to launch missiles against the Narns. Twelve more waves arrived, with a total of ten missiles penetrating the Narn AMMs and point defence. The target was the large Ja’Dul class, which had two close-in weapon systems. Apparently damaged, the Ja’Dul broke away from the military-engined escorts and headed for the Minbari squadron. Just as it did so, two new waves of Minbari missiles arrived, scoring four more strength-4 hits on the Ja’Dul.



Four further waves of missiles arrived, although some were smaller than previous waves. The Ja’Dul was too far away from the escorts for protection. It took eleven hits and exploded. The remaining missiles targeted the Dag’Kar and the Sho’Kar but did not penetrate their defences. There were no immediate follow-up attacks and the Minbari squadron moved away in the general direction of the inner system, reappearing in late August. This time, the two Narn ships on the jump point headed for the Centauri at 2500 km/s, with the Centauri pulling away at 3242 km/s. Within a few hours, all the alien ships were out of sensor range without any sign of further combat.

Also in August 2253, the first four Zephyr class sensor outposts were constructed. The Zephyrs were intended to replace the Tethys class police cutters that were being used for picket duty on many different jump points. The first four would replace the cutters in 61 Hydrae, allowing them to return home for overhauls.

Zephyr class Sensor Outpost      300 tons       16 Crew       64.2 BP       TCS 6    TH 0    EM 0
1 km/s      No Armour       Shields 0-0     HTK 5      Sensors 8/6/0/0      DCR 1      PPV 0
MSP 133    Max Repair 20 MSP
Lieutenant Commander    Control Rating 1   BRG   
Intended Deployment Time: 12 months   

Kentaro-Morgan KM-24 Active Sensor (1)     GPS 1560     Range 24.3m km    Resolution 130
EM-6 Passive Sensor (1)     Sensitivity 6     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  19.4m km
TH-8 Passive Sensor (1)     Sensitivity 8     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  22.4m km

In early September, a 21,000-ton Drakh Gargoyle class transited into the Centauri home system of Pi-3 Orionis from the 78 Ophiuchi jump point, the same origin point as the Lictor class four months earlier. A Kestrel class shuttle was picketing the jump point and observed the transit. The Gargoyle held position for three hours, ignoring the shuttle, then moved into the system and disappeared from the shuttle’s sensors. It returned a few days later and disappeared through the jump point. A week later the Gargoyle transited back into Pi-3 Orionis. This time, the police cutter Helene was waiting on the jump point and opened fire immediately. The Gargoyle tried to ram the small cutter, but lacked the necessary speed. Helene opened the range to 20,000 km and battered the slow-moving Drakh ship with her small and medium pulse cannon, destroying it within ninety seconds.

The terraforming of Alpha Centauri-B III was completed on September 11th, when the melting of the ice caps pushed the temperature into the human tolerance range, creating an ideal habitable world. The planet had extensive mineral deposits, including seven million tons of accessibility 0.9 Gallicite, twenty-eight million tons of accessibility 0.5 Corundium and thirty-seven million tons of accessibility 0.4 Duranium. The terraforming stations were towed to Alpha Centauri-A III.

Alpha Centauri-B III Survey Report
Duranium:   37,324,800   0.40
Neutronium:   419,904   0.40
Corbomite:   236,196   0.80
Tritanium:   26,873,856   0.10
Boronide:   4,210,704   0.10
Mercassium:   1,542,564   0.10
Vendarite:   571,536   0.30
Sorium:   2,286,144   0.40
Uridium:   46,656   0.10
Corundium:   28,005,264   0.50
Gallicite:   7,001,316   0.90

Due to the combat between the Minbari and the Narn in Xi Leporis, the salvage ships Corinth and Macedon, plus four freighters, were dispatched to Altair. They arrived at the Xi Leporis jump point on November 12th 2253. Macedon and a single freighter entered Xi Leporis, salvaged the Narn wreck and returned to Altair within three days. The Narn stabilisation ship was equipped with nuclear pulse engines, as two were recovered from the wreck. That placed the Narn at a significantly lower tech level than the Alliance.

Two new exploration ship, Diomedes and Jason, were launched in November 2253. They were both dispatched to the systems around Wolf 359, which had become the primary focus of Alliance expansion due to the presence of alien races in all other directions. Wolf 359 was only two transits from Sol via Alpha Centauri but, due to the layout of the intervening jump points, it was a far shorter route through Proxima, 61 Hydrae, Bernard’s Star and Psi Ceti. A new colony was established on the barren first planet of Wolf 359, with the intention of creating a forward base for survey ships in the medium term.

On December 4th, there was evidence of further combat in Xi Leporis, although there was no direct detection as the battle occurred almost seven billion kilometres from the Babylon Three station on the Altair jump point. Five strength-5 detonations, preceded the appearance of another Narn Ja’Dul wreck. In the previous engagement the Minbari used missiles with strength-4 warheads, which indicated that the Minbari had new missiles or that a third race was involved. Macedon was sent back into Xi Leporis to salvage the new wreck. Five days later, there were over sixty strength-6 energy impacts in the same location. Three new wrecks appeared, all of which were unknown types; one at 5700 tons and two at 5300 tons.



On December 5th, an Olympus class corvette, the first missile-armed warship of the Alliance, was launched from the Achos Shipyard in Earth orbit. The Olympus was intended for a specific purpose; long deployments outside energy range of jump points to Drakh-held systems. With that in mind, the focus was on endurance and weight of fire. The speed of 2500 km/s was sufficient for deployment, but the Olympus was expected to spend most of its life on station. The missiles, a new technology for the Alliance, were small and short-ranged, relying on weight of numbers to overwhelm the target. Finally, the armour was minimal as the corvette would fire all its missiles before any Drakh ship entered energy range. Those missiles would only be fired in two situations; if a Drakh ship escaped outside energy range of any jump point defenders or the size of the Drakh attack threatened to overwhelm those defenders. Otherwise, the Olympus would retain its missiles and let the energy-armed defenders handle the situation.

Olympus class Corvette      5,000 tons       62 Crew       549.8 BP       TCS 100    TH 250    EM 0
2500 km/s      Armour 1-26       Shields 0-0       HTK 18      Sensors 0/0/0/0      DCR 6      PPV 57
Maint Life 8.97 Years     MSP 412    AFR 33%    IFR 0.5%    1YR 9    5YR 138    Max Repair 125 MSP
Magazine 375   
Commander    Control Rating 1   BRG   
Intended Deployment Time: 102 months    Morale Check Required   

Beigie-Bryant-250 Particle Thrust Engine  (1)    Power 250    Fuel Use 49.50%    Signature 250    Explosion 10%
Fuel Capacity 254,000 Litres    Range 18.5 billion km (85 days at full power)

Phoenix Box Launcher (150)     Missile Size: 2.5    Hangar Reload 79 minutes    MF Reload 13 hours
Acheron-Corinth AC-10 Phoenix Fire Control (5)     Range 10.5m km    Resolution 8
Phoenix Anti-Ship Missile (150)    Speed: 28,000 km/s    End: 3.2m     Range: 5.4m km    WH: 4    Size: 2.5

Kentaro-Morgan KM-24 Active Sensor (1)     GPS 1560     Range 24.3m km    Resolution 130

On Christmas Day 2253, a force of eight Minbari ships transited into Altair from Xi Leporis. The two largest, at 17,250 tons, were a Shargoti and a Tragati. The rest, at approximately 8650 tons, comprised two Norgath, two Esharan, a Morshin and a Neshatan. While a single Minbari ship had previously transited into Altair, the Minbari had now deployed a squadron of warships a single transit from Kapteyn’s Star, which was the main source of fuel harvesting for the Alliance. Thirteen Demeter class harvesters were in orbit of the Kapteyn’s Star I. A colony of one point four million had been established on Kapteyn’s Star III, to support the harvesting and provide a base for exploration ships. An Artemis class frigate and a police cutter were also based at the colony. With few military options available due to the need to protect 61 Hydrae from the Drakh, EarthDome intended to try a diplomatic approach with any Minbari or Narn ships that entered Kapteyn’s Star. The colony would be expanded over time to reinforce Alliance possession of the system.

In early January 2254, the salvage ship Macedon, accompanied by a freighter, arrived at the four wrecks in Xi Leporis and found a Minbari squadron comprising a Shargoti, Tragati, two Norgath, a Morshin and a Neshatan, already on the scene. The Minbari made no attempt to interfere, apart from a suggestion that the Alliance should leave the system as it lay within Minbari territory. The tone was more of a formality though than a real demand to leave. The Minbari were presumably focused on the war with the Narn Regime.

In March 2254, the first Hyperion - T class Assault Cruiser was launched, a modification of the standard Hyperion with a large hangar bay replacing most of the armament. The hangar would hold nine breaching pods, plus a Kestrel class shuttle, with the intention of providing a significant boarding capability to any Alliance fleet.

Hyperion - T class Assault Cruiser      31,250 tons       662 Crew       4,410.5 BP       TCS 625    TH 2,500    EM 0
4000 km/s      Armour 6-88       Shields 0-0       HTK 166      Sensors 12/12/0/0      DCR 27      PPV 68.64
Maint Life 2.04 Years     MSP 2,381    AFR 289%    IFR 4.0%    1YR 762    5YR 11,432    Max Repair 625 MSP
Hangar Deck Capacity 9,300 tons     
Captain    Control Rating 2   BRG   AUX   
Intended Deployment Time: 12 months    Flight Crew Berths 186    Morale Check Required   

Beigie-Bryant-1250 Particle Thrust Engine  (2)    Power 2500    Fuel Use 22.14%    Signature 1250    Explosion 10%
Fuel Capacity 981,000 Litres    Range 25.5 billion km (73 days at full power)

Archer-Komarov AK-15 Medium Pulse Cannon (6x4)    Range 150,000km     TS: 4,000 km/s     Power 9-4.5    ROF 10       
Twin Interceptor Turret (2x8)    Range 30,000km     TS: 16000 km/s     Power 0-0     RM 30,000 km    ROF 5       
Douglas-Xavier DX-64M Tracking System (1)     Max Range: 64,000 km   TS: 16,000 km/s
Douglas-Xavier DX-256 Tracking System (2)     Max Range: 256,000 km   TS: 4,000 km/s
R-14 Gas-Cooled Fast Reactor (2)     Total Power Output 28.3    Exp 5%

Kentaro-Morgan KM-50 Active Sensor (1)     GPS 6480     Range 50.1m km    Resolution 120
Kentaro-Morgan KM-6M Active Sensor (1)     GPS 24     Range 6.8m km    MCR 609.3k km    Resolution 1
TH-12 Passive Sensor (1)     Sensitivity 12     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  27.4m km
EM-12 Passive Sensor (1)     Sensitivity 12     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  27.4m km

In April, the Hyperion class cruiser Lexington was refitted to incorporate newly developed technology. The two plasma cannon and two of the four interceptor turrets were removed and the thickness of the armour was reduced by twenty-five percent. Four Ixion Industries GS-37 Shield Generators and a Combat Information Centre were added, the power plants were replaced with stellarator fusion reactors and a medium pulse cannon was replaced by a particle beam.

The changes were intended to improve the overall fighting capabilities of the Hyperion and more specifically to improve its resistance to advanced Drakh weapons. The microwave weapon would not be able to penetrate shields as it did armour, and it was hoped the acid weapon would be less effective against shields. The combat information centre had the potential to improve weapon accuracy if a skilled tactical officer was assigned to the ship. Alliance construction factories were producing the new components to speed up the refit of all existing Hyperions, the original version of which would henceforth be known as the Hyperion Alpha.

Hyperion Beta class Cruiser      31,250 tons       805 Crew       4,764.5 BP       TCS 625    TH 2,500    EM 4,440
4000 km/s      Armour 6-88       Shields 148-370       HTK 179      Sensors 12/12/0/0      DCR 27      PPV 104.64
Maint Life 2.15 Years     MSP 2,572    AFR 289%    IFR 4.0%    1YR 746    5YR 11,188    Max Repair 625 MSP
Hangar Deck Capacity 4,300 tons     
Captain    Control Rating 3   BRG   AUX   CIC   
Intended Deployment Time: 12 months    Flight Crew Berths 86    Morale Check Required   

Beigie-Bryant-1250 Particle Thrust Engine  (2)    Power 2500    Fuel Use 22.14%    Signature 1250    Explosion 10%
Fuel Capacity 909,000 Litres    Range 23.7 billion km (68 days at full power)
Ixion Industries GS-37 Shield Generator (4)     Recharge Time 370 seconds (0.4 per second)

Feuerbach-Schmidt FS-25A Heavy Laser Cannon (4)    Range 256,000km     TS: 4,000 km/s     Power 16-4    ROF 20       
Genda Armaments GA-4 Standard Particle Beam (4)    Range 200,000km     TS: 4,000 km/s     Power 10-5    ROF 10       
Archer-Komarov AK-15 Medium Pulse Cannon (2x4)    Range 150,000km     TS: 4,000 km/s     Power 9-4.5     ROF 10       
Twin Interceptor Turret (2x8)    Range 30,000km     TS: 16000 km/s     Power 0-0     RM 30,000 km    ROF 5       
Douglas-Xavier DX-64M Tracking System (2)     Max Range: 64,000 km   TS: 16,000 km/s
Douglas-Xavier DX-256 Tracking System (3)     Max Range: 256,000 km   TS: 4,000 km/s
R16 Stellarator Fusion Reactor (3)     Total Power Output 48.3    Exp 5%

Kentaro-Morgan KM-50 Active Sensor (1)     GPS 6480     Range 50.1m km    Resolution 120
Kentaro-Morgan KM-6M Active Sensor (1)     GPS 24     Range 6.8m km    MCR 609.3k km    Resolution 1
TH-12 Passive Sensor (1)     Sensitivity 12     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  27.4m km
EM-12 Passive Sensor (1)     Sensitivity 12     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  27.4m km

The Hyperion Alpha Persephone, last of the original class to be constructed, and the Artemis class frigates Atalanta and Helen, were launched on June 3rd. The Auricon Shipyard, which built the frigates, was already tooled for the new Artemis Beta design and began work on refitting the existing frigates. The Artemis Beta followed similar principles to the Hyperion Beta, reducing armour by fifty percent and removing one of the interceptor turrets and the associated fire control in order to fit two shield generators and a combat information centre.

Artemis Beta class Frigate      13,750 tons       443 Crew       2,404.7 BP       TCS 275    TH 1,100    EM 2,220
4000 km/s      Armour 3-51       Shields 74-370       HTK 95      Sensors 8/0/0/0      DCR 8      PPV 80.32
Maint Life 2.20 Years     MSP 874    AFR 189%    IFR 2.6%    1YR 243    5YR 3,646    Max Repair 275 MSP
Captain    Control Rating 3   BRG   AUX   CIC   
Intended Deployment Time: 12 months    Morale Check Required   

Beigie-Bryant-550 Particle Thrust Engine  (2)    Power 1100    Fuel Use 33.37%    Signature 550    Explosion 10%
Fuel Capacity 574,000 Litres    Range 22.5 billion km (65 days at full power)
Ixion Industries GS-37 Shield Generator (2)     Recharge Time 370 seconds (0.2 per second)

Genda Armaments GA-4 Standard Particle Beam (4)    Range 200,000km     TS: 4,000 km/s     Power 10-5    ROF 10       
Archer-Komarov AK-15 Medium Pulse Cannon (6x4)    Range 150,000km     TS: 4,000 km/s     Power 9-4.5     ROF 10       
Twin Interceptor Turret (1x8)    Range 30,000km     TS: 16000 km/s     Power 0-0     RM 30,000 km    ROF 5       
Douglas-Xavier DX-256 Tracking System (2)     Max Range: 256,000 km   TS: 4,000 km/s
Douglas-Xavier DX-64M Tracking System (1)     Max Range: 64,000 km   TS: 16,000 km/s
R16 Stellarator Fusion Reactor (3)     Total Power Output 48.3    Exp 5%

Kentaro-Morgan KM-5M Active Sensor (1)     GPS 12     Range 4.8m km    MCR 430.9k km    Resolution 1
Kentaro-Morgan KM-40 Active Sensor (1)     GPS 4320     Range 40.9m km    Resolution 120
TH-8 Passive Sensor (1)     Sensitivity 8     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  22.4m km

In late September 2254, the Expeditionary in 61 Hydrae comprised four Omega class destroyers, four Hyperion Betas, two Artemis Betas and a Hyperion – J jump cruiser. There was no refit as yet for the Omegas because the Rocketdyne Shipyard was still building the eleventh and twelfth units of the class. Once they were completed, a refit programme would begin. However, with the shields of the Hyperions and the frigates, the force was better equipped to handle a Drakh attack. A shuttle was sent through the jump point to 66 Serpentis to check on the Drakh forces on the far side. The Kestrel found the alien fleet had been reduced to fourteen Genestealers, the capabilities of which were still unknown, ten Termagaunts, eight Hormagaunts and three Zoanthropes. Of even more interest were the wrecks of twenty-three Centauri ships in the system. The wrecks would account for all but four of the known remaining Centauri ships.



How the Centauri has reached 66 Serpentis was unknown, but they were last detected in 78 Ophiuchi and three Drakh ships had emerged from the Pi-3 Orionis - 78 Ophiuchi jump point in recent months. It therefore made sense that there was either a direct link from 66 Serpentis to 78 Ophiuchi or a chain of systems between them. That also meant the powerful Drakh force that was previously detected guarding the 66 Serpentis side of the jump point to 61 Hydrae could emerge into the Centauri home system at any time. Admiral Harrison Tyler, commander of EarthForce, and Vice Admiral Theseus Argos, commander of the EarthForce Space Corps, consulted with EarthDome and proposed an immediate assault into 66 Serpentis, partly to eliminate the Drakh force, partly to allow salvage of the Centauri wrecks and partly to find the route from 66 Serpentis to Centauri space.

Commodore Aella Phoenix was now commanding the Home Fleet, so command of the Expeditionary Force and responsibility for the assault fell to Commodore Emily Thrace on the destroyer Agamemnon. A force of seventy-two Starfuries was sent through the jump point using a standard transit. As soon as they arrived in 66 Serpentis they set a course for the inner system at 10,000 km/s, while they waited for their weapons to recover from jump shock. The thirty-five alien craft chased them at 13,000 km/s and the Starfuries began to take losses. Twenty seconds later, with alien craft out of weapons range of the jump point, Clarkstown, Hyperion and Helios came through in a squadron transit. The alien craft continued to pursue the Starfuries, which were starting to fire back.

As soon as Helios recovered from jump shock, she returned to 61 Hydrae and conducted another squadron jump point with the remaining two Hyperion Betas. The Omega class destroyers all came through in a standard transit. Meanwhile, seven of the Starfuries reported boarding attacks by the Genestealers, which turned out to be assault craft similar to the Alliance breaching pods. The alien boarders were hideous, multi-limbed and obviously bred for combat. They scuttled forward on a pair of hooved, backward-jointed legs. An upper pair of limbs served as curved, bladed weapons, while smaller, secondary limbs disgorged bolts of acid. The whole body was covered by a hard exoskeleton that would act as armour. Against the small crews of the Starfuries, there could only be one result. With their troops delivered, the Genestealers broke away and headed for the inner system. The Drakh attack craft finally recognised the threat from the capital ships and broke away from the Starfury formation, heading straight for the Expeditionary Force at 13,000 km/s.

The Hyperion Betas and Artemis Betas moved out to meet the Drakh, reversing course once they entered firing range to reduce the closure rate The four Omegas held position eighty thousand kilometres from the shield-equipped warships to reduce the chance of them being targeted. As expected, the shields prevented the electronic damage from the Termagaunt microwave weapons, although they inflicted strength-6 hits on the those shields, and subsequent acid damage from the Hormagaunt weapons. The frigate Aphrodite lost her shields, suffering armour damage and the loss of her electronic systems, but every Drakh attack craft was blown to pieces. The Alliance lost twenty-nine Starfuries from the diversion force, including seven captured by Drakh boarders. Those seven were destroyed by long-range fire from the Expeditionary Force.

The Expeditionary Force moved back to the jump point to regroup and recover fighters. Aphrodite began repairs, but remained with the fleet. A Kestrel class shuttle was sent to scout the area around the wrecks to determine if it was safe for salvage operations. A day after the battle, with the shuttle still en route to the wrecks, sensor emissions were detected from two Carnifex class ships approaching the jump point at 8540 km/s. At eighty million kilometres, Alliance sensors detected a total force of six Carnifex and eight Hive Guards. The latter were known to be armed nine twin acid-laser turrets. The armament of the Carnifex was unknown. Commodore Thrace decided to stand and fight. The jump cruiser Helios was sent back to 61 Hydrae to provide an escape route if required, while three Olympus class corvettes were ordered to transit and join the Expeditionary Force in 66 Serpentis.


 
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