The Battle for Defiance: Centauri vs Narn

Turn/Time: Turn 5/April, 2261

Scenario: Annihilation

Situation: In retribution for the Tza’sol Narn raid on Sparta Hill the previous month, Centauri Fleet Sector Command deploys two battleship squadrons and their supporting elements and a prototype Adira-class dreadnought to the Defiance system to “teach those primitives a sharp lesson.” They are met at the system’s jumpgate by a Narn border defense fleet, and a massive battle ensues as both sides attempt to destroy their most hated enemy.

Terrain: One density 10 asteroid field on the left corner of the southern table edge, and one small planetoid in the right corner of the southern table edge. The jumpgate was placed in the center of the Centauri deployment zone on the northern table edge.

ToE:

Centauri Republic:

  • 2x Octurion (HMS Jupiter Fulgur, Manlius Aquilius)
  • 3x Tertius (HMS Durus, Tarquinius, Petasus)
  • 1x Adira (HMS Ultor)
  • 2x Prefect (HMS Erastes, Camenae)
  • 4x Corvan (HMS Capua, Tusculum, Vesta, Divus)

The Centauri fleet in review formation

Tza’sol Narn:

  • 1x G’Karith
  • 1x Ka’toc
  • 1x T’loth
  • 1x Bin’tak
  • 1x G’quan
  • 1x Sho’kar
  • 2x Var’nic
  • 10x Dag’Kar

The Narn fleet, also on parade

Turn 1: As the jumpgate opened, the Centauri admiral brought the Adira prototype Ultor, a Corvan, and one Battleship group containing an Octurion, a Tertius, and a Prefect. The rest of his force remained in hyperspace in hopes that the heavy-hulled Centauri capital ships would be able to withstand the initial Narn defense fire. The Narn Admiral responded at a leisurely pace, moving his ships at combat speed rather than ordering All Power to Engines, and as a result ended the turn just out of firing range of the helpless Centauri (by only an inch in some cases).

The Narn fleet moves leisurely toward its doom

Turn 2: The Narn continued to bring their ships towards the Centauri battlegroup massed at the jumpgate, but were unable to bring the massive energy mine salvo they hoped to unleash into play. The Centauri brought in a second Battleship group (another Octurion, Tertius, and Prefect), and waited with cold smiles as the Narn entered range of their battle lasers.

Mr. Varus, don't fire till you see the red of their ridge crests...

Turn 3: With the Narn now in range of their main weapons, the Centauri unleashed their devastating front-arc firepower. Ultorcrippled the G’karith with a single salvo, and one Battleship group skewered a flanking Var’nic with three battle laser shots, destroying both its engines and fire control. The 10 Dag’kars fired off a massive salvo of energy mines, shipbreaker mines, and torpedoes, but the well-constructed hulls of the Centauri capital ships withstood every hit. The Petasus finished off the already burning G’karith and opened up a long rent in the T’loth’s Marine barracks, venting several platoons worth of Narn troops into space and crippling it.

Turn 4: By this time, the Narn jumpgate engineers were desperately trying to shut the gate down, but the Centauri were able to override the failsafe codes and keep it open. Jupiter Fulgur hammered the oncoming G’quan with its battle laser, and crippled a Dag’kar with a volley from its secondary weapons. The Prefect-class Camenae finished off the crippled T’loth, but at the same time the Dag’kars concentrated their fire on the massive Ultor. Again, the Centauri flagship weathered the storm of energy, but a lucky shot did send a gout of flame through the observation deck where a crowd of engineers, nobles, and Fleet officers were observing the Adira prototype’s first combat trial -incinerating both the assembled dignitaries and their complimentary buffet. Though the Ultor’s captain realized that his career was now essentially over, he directed his ship’s fire skillfully, destroying another Dag’kar, and putting a battle laser shot straight into the Bin’tak’s engine room. Now thoroughly established on the Defiance side of the jumpgate, the Centauri ships began to launch fighters and bring more Corvans through the open gate.

Turn 5: The Centauri fighters brushed aside the Narns’ light screen of Frazis with contemptuous ease and began attack runs on the capital ships. The Octurion-class Manlius Aquilius destroyed the Var’nic before her engineers could finish repairs, and another blew the Ka’toc apart with one front arc salvo. The remaining Narn Dag’kars hammered the Adira with shipbreakers, scoring only minor damage but destroying a Corvan (HMS Divus). In response, the Centauri capital ships added another Dag’kar and the Sho’kar to the casualty list and destroyed the Bin’tak with combined battle laser fire. As the Narn fleet reeled from these massive losses, the Centauri continued to launch more fighters into the fray.

A much-reduced Narn fleet does what it can

Turn 6: With the death of their Admiral, the remaining Narn knew they were doomed, but they threw themselves into battle with redoubled fury hoping to take at least one more Centauri with them. Unfortunately, they ran into a wall of fire from the Centauri fleet. Manlius Aquilius shredded the last Var’nic and the Tertius-class Durus from the same Battleship group sliced a Dag’kar in half. The resulting explosion wreaked havoc in the tightly-packed group of remaining Narn, crippling another Dag’kar which was in its turn finished off by the Ultor, its own death throes destroying yet another Dag’kar’s engines.

The Centauri circle the remains of the Narn fleet

Turn 7: At this point, all that remained was for the Centauri to finish off the remains of the once-proud Narn fleet. Erastesknocked out the helpless Dag’kar, and Manlius Aquilius destroyed the heavily-damaged G’quan. The Durus lined up on the last remaining ship, a Dag’kar, and ordered its captain to beg for his life. The Narn commander nobly refused, and the Centauri obligingly blew his ship into flinders.

All over but the cleaning up/atrocities

Aftermath: Two of the Centauri ships were ordered back to the Royal Court to recieve accolades for this great Centauri victory. With them went the disgraced captain of the Ultor, whom a court martial exonerated, but who found himself assigned to command a planetbound fighter garrison shortly thereafter. Emperor Cartagia ordered that all surviving members of the imprisoned Kha’ri be shown recordings of this battle while he mocked them unmercifully.

The Earth Alliance issued an official protest when gun-camera recordings of Centauri Sentri pilots using Narn lifepods for target practice were accidentally released, but took no further action apart from sending the Narn sector commander a Fruit n’ Flowers basket and an autographed photo of Molly Rome in commiseration.

Molly flew a Starfury at the Battle of the Line so she's been there.

Analysis: Did I mention it was tough fighting the Centauri in general and Rich in particular?

Nevertheless, the Narn admiral here made several critical mistakes which, while they probably did not alter the outcome of the battle, turned a mere defeat into a turkey shoot for the Centauri:

  1. Diluting his mine loadout. Had he gone with all basic mines (his original plan) or all shipbreakers, the Narn would have had a massive unified salvo. Instead, he got two groups with different ranges and capabilities, neither of which were enough to deal with the high hull-value Centauri ships.
  2. Relying too much on mines.this was a valuable tactic when fighting the low hull-value Drazi, but against the high hull-value Centauri the mines failed to do enough damage to properly soften them up.
  3. Failing to close on Turn 1. With the Centauri helpless from the jumpgate effects, there would never be another chance to cause so much damage unopposed.
  4. Failing to concentrate fire. Concentration of fire is key, especially against larger ships with high hull values and lots of damage capacity.

That said, Rich showed his general propensity to roll consistent double digit damage while his opponent was lucky to score more than 5 in a single hit.

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7 Responses to “The Battle for Defiance: Centauri vs Narn”

  1. um, firepower was concentrated on basically three ships. I just couldn’t hurt them at ALL.

  2. Nice write up. Who is Molly Rome?

  3. redcoat668 Says:

    Molly Rome is a fine actress. 😉 I would suggest using a non-work PC for further research.

  4. Sounds like you need to put the Psi-corps on stealing Rich’s dice.

  5. Great write up. Congrats and condolences to the interested parties. It might also be noted that some fixed defenses (like a base?) could have added some much needed firepower and created an Ambush scenario, which might be a little more forgiving to a side that has taken an early beating, thus allowing them to withdraw, ignominiously, but at least allow for some survivors.

  6. An Ambush Scenario could have been rolled up for our battle just as well. It was just in our case that the Annhilation Scenario was the one that came up.

    Plus there was a survivor – a lone Bin’Tak that had gone out for some General T’So Chic’Ken take out and couple of kegs of Narn Pale Ale.

  7. love the adira! do you have more close up pics of it? top view in particular.

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