The Battle for Saguntum III: Centauri vs Earth Alliance

Turn/Time: Turn 3/January, 2261

Scenario: Annihilate

Terrain: Two 8″ radius Density 6 Asteroid fields in the middle of the table.

Situation: An EA task group jumps a smaller Centauri carrier group during scouting of an unexplored Major System. Outnumbered, the Centauri must cause as much damage as possible before withdrawing.

ToE:

The Earth Alliance:

TG Acheron, consisting of

  • 1x Omega (EAS Acheron)
  • 1x Nova (EAS Vauban)
  • 3x Hyperion (EAS Aeneas, Clio, and Omdurman)
  • 2x Oracle (EAS Delphi and Pythia)
  • 4x Artemis (EAS Artemis, Telemachus, Chimaera, and Manticore)
  • 2x Olympus (EAS Pompey and Scylla)
  • 2x Starfury Wing (1689th and 1776th Combat Wings)
  • 2x Thunderbolt Wing (1066th and 98th Assault Wings)

EA fleet

The Centauri Republic:

  • 1x Primus
  • 1x Balvarin
  • 1x Darkner
  • 1x Dargan
  • 2x Corvan
  • 1x Vree Xixx

The Centauri fleet

Setup: The Centauri set up their forces in a compact line towards the center of their table edge. I split TG Acheron into two sub elements, one based on Acheron and her escorts and one based on Vauban and hers, and placed them roughly on either side of the asteroid cluster. I placed the three Hyperions in the middle of my edge as a mobile reserve.

The initial setup...  

The Battle:

Turn 1:  Screened by their stealthed Corvan scouts, the Centauri fleet stayed clustered and rapidly closed with Vauban and her group, which likewise strove to come to grips with them as quickly as possible. The 1689th’s Starfuries actually reached effective weapons range of the Centauri fighters, but the stealth systems of the Rutarians completely frustrated the more primitive Earth tracking equipment and no lockons were achieved. In the meantime, the Centauri were busily concentrating their superior ranged firepower on the EA capital ships and EAS Pompey went up in a ball of expanding gasses without even firing a shot. Acheron and her escorts strove to close on the flank, but were hampered by the rocks and debris of the asteroid field. Fortunately, the fighters of the 1776th and 98th were not similarly hindered, and streaked through the tumbling asteroids towards the enemy.   

The inital exchange

Turn 2: The right half of the battlefield became a chaotic mess of furious dogfights as the Starfuries closed in to deal with the Rutarians ship to ship. Once in visual scanning range, the Centauri cloaking was useless, and the Earth fighters tore into their opponents with a vengeance. A battle laser from the Darkner smashed into Vauban’s engine room and drastically reduced her speed, leaving her helpless in the front arc of the advancing Primus. Unable to escape, Vauban’s captain turned her broadside to the enemy and prayed for a lucky critical. Sadly, his prayers went unanswered: the broadside shot did minimal damage and the Primus’ salvo blew Vauban into flinders. She was soon avenged, as concentrated fire from Omdurman and Clio, who had joined the fight, shredded the Darkner (identified from wreckage as HMS Sestarii) who had doomed the ill-fated Nova. Prowling the edge of the battlefield, the intrepid captain of the Pythia lined up his boresight laser on the Xixx and fired, crippling the unlucky Vree. Beyond the fray, the Balvarin continued to clear her fighters for space as fast as possible.

The right flank heats up

Turn 3: Though the newly launched fighters from the Balvarin continued to engage the Starfuries, the Earth Alliance had effectively gained fighter superiority, and the 1066th and 98th’s Thunderbolts began their missile runs on the Centauri capital ships. Though they failed to score major damage, the Thunderbolts did whittle down the Centauri interceptor defences. Acheron was rapidly closing on the Centauri left flank, and their Admiral realized this was his last chance to cause major damage before the trap closed. The Dargan lined up carefully on Omdurman and ripped into her with both her frontal and starboard weapons, tearing her apart. Hungry for vengeance, her sister ship Clio trained her own beam weapon on the Dargan (identified from wreckage as HMS Gallico) and blew it in half. One fragment tore into the already crippled Xixx (identified from wreckage as VCS Lawgiver) and destroyed it, while another slammed into one of the Corvans, causing massive damageA salvo from Pythia killed the last of the Corvan’s crew, rendering it dead in space.

The trap begins to close   

Turn 4: As Acheron closed in, the Centauri Admiral gave the signal for his group to scatter and withdraw. The Balvarin slipped off the table edge and escaped, while the remaining Corvan ran for the side of the board. This left the Primus without support, and her captain opened a jump point and trusted the sturdiness of his relatively undamaged ship to see him through it. At first, it seemed as though the captain’s gamble would pay off as the railguns of Acheron’s Artemis escorts hammered at the Primus’ hull. His luck ran out, however, when Aeneas hit  her magazine (Vital Systems, Secondary Explosions), and a cheer went up throughout the Earth fleet as the Centauri battleship (identified from wreckage as HMS Emperor’s Wrath) blew apart.

The Emperor's Wrath meets her end

Turn 5: As the Starfuries mopped up the remaining Centauri fighters, the last Corvan silently slipped off the board and escaped.

Analysis: Tough battle. I tried for a classic Billy Howe pin ‘n flank, but thanks to the asteroids couldn’t quite pull it off. The terrain kept Acheron from closing in a timely manner, and as a result poor Vauban got to face the Centauri alone for three turns with fatal results for her crew. While my Thunderbolts didn’t have the overwhelming effect I was hoping for, they did good service in reducing interceptor values, and I’d definitely continue relying on their presence. Still, despite the loss of the Nova, I have the Strategic Target, a largely intact TG, and he has one less Primus…not a bad trade all said and done.

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11 Responses to “The Battle for Saguntum III: Centauri vs Earth Alliance”

  1. Good work. I like the squadron designations I get the refrences, Norman invasion, Glorious revolution and American Revolution (sorry ‘rebelion’)with the first three but 98th eludes me.

  2. oh by the way you might want to pick another color for the Earth Alliance Font and that yellow is hard to read.

  3. redcoat668 Says:

    I really wish I didn’t have to use yellow for the EA, but I’m trying to keep the font colors correspondent with the map pins as much as possible. I just tried a darker yellow…it looks like it shows up a little better.
    Good job picking up the dates. The 98th was one of the two wings I named before I decided that using them would be easier than picking random numbers. For those of you of a Scottish bent, there IS a 1745th Combat Wing. For persons of other Gaelic sympathies, I am also considering acquiring a 1916th Combat Wing and a 1690th Assault Wing and forcing them to work together. 😉

  4. Well written. One minor change, the Vree ship was a Xixx class ship, a variant of the Xaar.
    The only thing I would have done differently is I would have withdrawn the Emperor’s Wrath off the board instead of trying the jump point.
    Oh and I realized after the fact we both failed to roll for our fighters in the asteroid debris field. More then likely we would have made the rolls what with the +1 bonus fighters get in the field.
    Keep up the good work. 🙂
    Rich

  5. redcoat668 Says:

    Fixed! Thanks for pointing it out.

    Marc also noted that Gallico could only have fired on Omdurman from either her front or side arc…not both. How do we want to deal with that?

  6. Good evening. I am sorry but since we both played as if the rules allowed it to happen the ship died. This was a simple rules mistake. Now that we know we will make sure that it does not happen again.

  7. redcoat668 Says:

    To be clear, the only time it actually came up was Gallico’s shot on Omdurman. But I DID let it slip by me when you did it. 😉

  8. Have another change. There was only 1 Darkner. The other ship was a Dargan class vessel – Gallico.

  9. redcoat668 Says:

    Fixed!

  10. You need an up date man.

  11. He has another battle report to post as soon as all the info is collected. Then there is our battle this Sunday.

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