The Battle for Ancona: League vs Narn

Posted in A Call to Arms, A Call to Arms 1e, ACTA Battles, ACTA Campaign with tags , , , on June 29, 2008 by redcoat668

Turn/ Time: Turn 6/May 2261

Scenario: Space Superiority

Terrain: 4 dust clouds and 3 asteroid fields

Situation: As the Narn Regime assaults the League staging point in Ope’diar, a mixed force of Vree and Brakiri raiders slips into the Narn-controlled Ancona system to disrupt local trade routes and cut off supplies to the Narn attack force.

League of Nonaligned Worlds:

Brakiri Syndicracy:

  • 2x Takata (B.S.S. Trebuchet, Siege)
  • 1x Brivoki (B.S.S. Alien Nation)

Vree Collective:

  • 3x Z’Takk (V.S.S. Truth, Mercy, Regret)
  • 2x Xaak (V.S.S. Fact, Law)
  • 1x Xill(V.S.S. Sorrow)
  • 3x Xixx(V.S.S. Sleepy, Sneezy, Dopey)
  • 2x Xorr(V.S.S. Xorr, Sacrifice)
  • 1x Xill (V.S.S. Faith)
  • 3x Xixx (V.S.S. Doc, Happy, Bashful)
  • 2x Xorr (V.S.S. Ritual, Altar)
  • 1x Xarr (V.S.S. Vibrant)
  • 1x Xixx (V.S.S. Grumpy)

Narn Regime:

  • 1x G’Tal
  • 1x G’Quonth
  • 1x G’Tal
  • 1x G’Quonth
  • 3x G’Quan
  • 1x Var’Nic

Turn 1: The Vree command squadron concentrates its fire on the lead G’Tal. The Var’Nic opens a jump point directly ahead of its squadron.

Concentrated Narn mines do some damage to the Siege and Fact, while the Alien Nation’s heavy armor shrugs off the bombardment. Multiple beam and torpedo strikes directed against Siege by the first G’Tal turn her into a drifting hulk before she can even fire a shot. A vital systems critical finished her off, but wasn’t enough to crack her engine core. In response to this affront the Vree Command squadron shows off its new torpedoes, and unleashes a deadly wave of fire that utterly destroyed the Narn vessel before the last missle could impact. As her engines died (no movement crit), a simultaneous blow from Mercy caused her containment to fail (vital system crit) and she exploded damaging the G’Quonth in her squadron. Only light damage was sustained as more mines erupted among the ships of the Vree command squadron. The Alien Nation fired her main gun and crippled the already damaged G’Quonth of the first squadron. The League and Narn launch fighters.

Turn 2: Having expended their mines the Narn 3rd squadron jumps to hyperspace and safety (being outnumbered by about 40% at the beginning, Bob decided to preserve at least some of his force). The three remaining ships hold the line as a Frazi flight from the G’Tal withdraws from the battle. Fire from the remaining G’Quonth cripples and skeleton crews the Fact. The Trebuchet gets a little revenge by finishing the crippled G’Quonth. The remaining G’Tal took a bridge hit that prevented any hope of its escape.

Turn 3: Directing the second turn of mines into the Vree 4th Squadron, hoping for a light hull kill, spares the Fact’s life in the end. While damage was inflicted on the entire 4th, no kills, cripples, or skeleton crews were obtained. V.S.S. Fact was only three hull and one crew from annihilation. Gun crews aboard the Narn squadron destroyed just one of the Tzymms sent to harass them. Mercy supplied a crippling blow to the G’Tal and Law followed this up by laying it down, causing another explosive fireball in the Narn ranks. This ship explosion also killed 2 Falcosi flights and 2 Tzymm flights in addition to damaging the last G’Quonth. Finally the Truth’s torpedoes found their mark, turning the last of the Narn defenders into a star for one brief moment and destroying another of the harassing Tzymms.

Aftermath: With the Narn fleet dispersed, the League ships spent several days in the area waylaying convoys and disrupting supply lines.

The Narn admiral was praised for his quick reaction in the face of superior force, allowing him to preserve at least a third of his fleet elements. With news of the disaster at Ope’diar running rampant through the fleet, the Kha’ri needed all the heroes it could find.

Analysis: Quick thinking by Bob saved a third of his fleet – a clear case of  “What use is it to win a battle and lose the war?”

Thanks to Marc for the pics and battle report!

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The Battle for Ope’Diar: Narn vs League

Posted in A Call to Arms 1e, ACTA Battles, ACTA Campaign with tags , , , , , , on June 2, 2008 by redcoat668

Turn/Time: Turn 6/May, 2261

Scenario: A Call to Arms

Terrain: Jumpgate in League deployment area.

Situation: Hoping to disrupt the concentration of the Non-Aligned fleet before it can begin a new drive into Minbari space, a large Narn force attempts to take the League staging point at Ope’Diar. Unfortunately, the Bin’Tak slated for the assault is drawn off by a daring Vree diversionary raid, and the rest of the Narn fleet jumps in-system into the teeth of the League’s fixed defences.

TO&E

Narn Regime:

  • 1x G’tal
  • 8x G’Quonth

League of Non-Aligned Worlds:

  • 1x Brostilli Warbase
  • 2x Shodrama sattelites
  • 1x Varl (VCS Ghost)
  • 1x Brokados (BSS Brokados) -2 falkosi cap
  • 2x Brivoki (BSS Street Justice, Desire) -2 falkosi cap/ea
  • 1x Convoy Guardian (Fearless)
  • 2x Urik’hal (Rich, Powerful)
  • 3x Strike Carrier (v1s) (Pelosi, Heinlein, Crusade)
  • 1x Patrol Ship (Officer)
  • 2x Ikorta (BSS Ikorta II, Regard)
  • 2x Tiraca (BSS Peace, Calm)
  • 1x Takata (BSS Catapult)
  • 2x Falkosi flight
  • 2x Sky Serpent flight
  • 6x Delta V1 flight

The League fleet prepares to defend Ope\'Diar

Turn 1: Alarms howled aboard the League ships and base as the Narn fleet roared out of the jumpgate. The Narn admiral immediately split his command into two divisions, one with the G’tal as its flagship to assault the Warbase, and four G’quonths to deal with the sattelites. The Warbase assault group immediately ran into strong opposition from the League defenders. While their Frazi screen downed any Sky Serpents foolish enough to attempt a torpedo run, heavy fire from the Brivokis Street Justice and Desire reduced the G’tal to a burning hulk before it even had a chance to fire a single mine. Meanwhile, the Warbase and its defense satellites concentrated their fire on the second division, causing heavy engine damage to the lead G’quonth.

The Narn position themselves to assault the Warbase

Turn 2:  The Brakiri defense sattelites were no match for the firepower of a single Narn G’quonth, much less four, and were soon transformed into so much floating debris. With the G’tal no longer a threat, the Brivokis began to concentrate on the G’quonths, and Desire burned one out and left it to drift. The Narn fighter defenses, however, remained highly effective and 4 Sky Serpent flights and a Star Snake were destroyed or scattered by Frazis or accurate gunfire from the G’quonths. 

The League fleet arrives and the battle switches into high gear.

Turn 3: With the satellites destroyed, the Narn desperately tried to recombine their cruiser divisions while under heavy fire from both the base and the enemy fleet. A G’quonth wrecked Ikorta II, but one of its division mates took a grav lance through its fire control center, knocking out all its weapons. Damage control teams rushed to get the fire control system back on line, but as they arrived a secondary explosion roared through that section of the ship, incinerating them instantly (that ship failed every repair roll it made…and never got to fire again for the rest of the game). As if in vengeance for the dead Narn engineers, another G’qonth sent a heavy laser slicing though the Warbase, neatly carving off an entire section (48 damage in one beam shot!).

Babylon 5 - Parking Wars!

Turn 4: A Narn heavy laser sliced VCS Ghost in half,and the Vree warship was soon joined in death by the hapless Patrol Ship. At the same time, the Narn fleet was dying. Their reinforced hulls had held up well against the almost constant stream of energy and and flight after flight of missiles being poured into them, but they could only withstand so much. One after another, three G’qonths rolled over and began to burn as their crews ran for the lifepods. Only four Narn ships remained, and half of those had been reduced to frantic skeleton crews.

With half the fleet destroyed, the Narn attack begins to falter.

Turn 5: With half of his fleet adrift and burning, the Narn admiral gave the order to disengage. As the ponderous G’quonths tried to come about, the League fleet went on the offensive. The Tiracas and Urik’hals destroyed two Narn cruisers, and Catapult  finished another. The remaining pair of Narn ships continued to make a run for open space.

Turn 6: The League continued to pour fire into the retreating Narn. One G’quonth blew apart under the continuous salvoes, damaging Catapult in the process. The Takata emerged from the cloud of burning metal and floating Narn casualties and fired a crippling shot into the last G’quonth, which was finished off moments later by Fearless. All that remained of the Narn attack force was drifting wreckage and the constant wail of the homing beacons on the Narn lifepods.

The remaining Narn ships are chased down one by one.

Aftermath: When it became clear that the Narn fleet was no more, the League admiral ordered an intensive search of the area. This was met with enthusiasm by all the races represented in the fleet: the Brakiri and Vree sought prisoners to ransom back to their families and potential salvage, and the Pak’mara viewed the vast number of drifting corpses strewn throughout the battlefield as a gigantic frozen meat locker.  The League fighter pilots, who had performed poorly throughout the battle, were harshly disciplined (the Brakiri were fined, the Vree shunned from their groupmind, and the Pak’mara sent to bed without supper).

Among the survivors repatriated was the Narn admiral, whom a court-martial completely exonerated. Narn captives without financial resources were either allowed to join the Tza’sol Narn fleet or imprisoned.

Having secured their Ope’Diar base, the League launched a wave of retributive raids on Centauri commercial shipping. Some raiders even reached Earth Alliance space.

Analysis: This was a tough one for Bob. Between the fleet and fixed defenses, he was completely outnumbered and outclassed, especially after the loss of his Bin’tak to the diversionary raid. Under the circumstances he acquitted himself well, causing heavy damage to the Warbase and destroying two ships. 

His one arguable mistake was dividing his fleet. The defense satellites really didn’t need 4 G’quonths to take care of them, and that additional firepower might have meant that Marc would have to spend his cash on an entirely new base rather than just repairing damage.

Thanks to Marc for the pics for this battle report!        

 

The Second Battle for Defiance: Centauri vs Narn

Posted in Uncategorized on May 5, 2008 by redcoat668

Transmission begins:

 

<static> “…hold your fire.  We are a commercial passenger ship carrying civilians.  We are not armed.  We <static>…” 

 

Recompiling data burst.  Error Rate increasing by 27%. Compensating for lost packets.

 

“This is the HMS <static>… to any Centauri ships in the area.  We are under attack by the Narn.  The vessel has identified itself as the Kal-Berr. I do not know how much longer we can hold out.  By the great maker, please, no…” <static>  

 

Transmission ends:

 

******

Prefect Socinus’ vidcomm chirped. He looked up from the after action reports on the main screen of his desk.  “What now?” he grumbled, glad for the respite from the mind-numbing reports.

He turned and saw it was Pro-Consul Elishaen Garinus, and stabbed the “talk” button. “Good morning Pro-Consul.” Socinus said as pleasantly as he could.   At the same time he silently commed his adjutant, Aduitor Melinor.

“Good morning Prefect, I wish I had time to exchange pleasantries but something has happened I felt you should be aware of immediately.”  Socinus glanced at his adjutant as he entered and then back at the screen. “Please go on.”

“Less then an hour ago a civilian convoy came under attack by a Narn Bin’Tak, the Kal-Berr. While the lives of all citizens of the Centauri Empire are of equal importance, this particular convoy contained a ship carrying the son and grandchildren of Consul-General Valentin.  Needless to say he is extremely distraught over this.”

Socinus looked at his adjutant again. “Get the Primi Pili.” He turned quickly from his position near the door and disappeared to find him. Looking back at the screen Socinus said, “Please continue Pro-Consul Garineer.”

Elishaen cleared his slender throat.  “It appears that not all the Narn in your area were eliminated.  The following communiqué indicates that a single Narn warship survived your stunning success at the Schatzman Jump Gate within the Defiance Star System.”

“Yes Pro-Consul.”  Silence fills the void as both men contemplate a response.

“Your task force has performed admirably thus far and I have no doubt you’ll continue to do so.” Socinus thought for a few seconds before softly saying, “Thank you Pro-Consul.  What do you want me to do to stop them, Pro-Consul Garineer?”

Elishaen Grainer’s face took on a hard edge, “Whatever you deem necessary Prefect.  Exterminate the Narn from this system.  Leave no quadrant of space untouched.  Avenge the lives of those lost to the immortal void.”

“And thus guaranteeing no single force here in Defiance is strong enough to move against us directly,” Socinus finished.

“Exactly, Prefect.” 

The vidcomm faded to black as the Primi Pili and Melinor walked back in.  “What’s up Sir?” Centurion asked.

What‘s up, Centurion, is us.” Socinus looked at the adjutant, “Full alert please, recall all the patrols and notify Task Force Ultor to start getting everything we’ve got ready to move out in a moments notice.  Also order both Provisional Fleets to scour their respective target areas.” The adjutant nodded and started for the door.

“Oh, and Aduitor?”

“Sir?” He said, turning. “Tell them they have an hour to find these Narn.”

 

 

Turn/Time: Turn 5/April, 2261

 

Scenario: Annihilation

 

Terrain: Planet Nobuhisa – A Dead World whose pollutants from the extensive abandoned heavy metal mining operations give the world an orange tint.  Some of the open mines are even visible from space.

 

Situation:  A small Centauri fleet receives important orders from Centauri Command in the Defiance Star System. Find the Kal-Berr and destroy it. Unfortunately, they arrive too late.  Hyperspace signatures show a Narn warship leaving the area.  While they do not find the elusive Bin’Tak they do find an equally worthy target: two Ka’Bin’Taks and lone G’Vrahn leaving orbit near the dead world of Nobuhisa.  Elements from Task Force Ultor en-route and redirected to the area and the second battle for the Defiance Star System begins.

 

TO&E:

 

Tza’sol Narn:

  • 2x Ka’Bin’Tak
  • 1x G’Vrahn

The Narn Fleet deploys near Defiance

 

Centauri Republic:

 

Task Force Ultor:

Flotilla Primus Gladius:

  • 2x Octurion (HMS Ariss, Promitor

Flotilla Secundus Gladius:

  • 1x Tertius (HMS Tarquinius)
  • 1x Prefect (HMS Erastes)

Flotilla Tertius Gladius:

  • 1x Strike Carrier (HMS Mutina)

Flotilla Areani:

  • 1x Corvan (HMS Tusculum)

Provisional Fleet Vulcan:

Flotilla Primus Gladius

  • 2x Octurion (HMS Vatrenus, Impluvium) 

Flotilla Areani:

  • 1x Corvan (HMS Eliphas

 The Centauri hunt down the last remaining rogue Narn

 

Turn 1:   The Centauri commander grouping his Octurions into a central strike force maneuvers them through void chasing down the Narn ships.  Flotilla Secundus Gladius and scouts sweep out along the flanks while the “recently acquired” Strike Carrier moves off to the side.  The Narn are caught off guard by the Centauri’s sudden appearance and are slow to react.

 

The Octurions close the distance fast and draw first blood, damaging the G’Vrahn’s engines and reactor slowing it slightly.  The return fire from the Narn energy mines impacted harmlessly off of the Centauri armor plating.

 

 

Turn 2:    The Narn admiral is quick to capitalize on the Centauri’s overconfidence and seize the initiative.  The Centauri fleet is still able to avoid the Narn targeting of their bore sighted weapon systems.  Closing the distance the Narn energy mine and ion torpedo fire provides to be somewhat ineffectual against the Centauri.  Only one Octurion starts to show any cracks from the constant pounding.

 

The Octurions commit themselves well as mega-joule after mega-joule of battle laser fire tear into then through the G’Vrahn.  Within in moments a massive explosion consumes it so that no trace of it remains (Note: I set a new record here: 35 hits of which 9 were criticals. I inflicted enough damage with the 35 hits that there was no need to even roll the criticals).

 

 

Turn 3:  The Narn, enraged by the sudden destruction of one of their ships or maybe it was the Centauri being distracted by the pretty explosions, continue to take the initiative.  Both Ka’Bin’Taks pour all available fire into HMS Vatrenus, crippling its superstructure.  The Centauri in turn relentlessly pound one of the two Ka’Bin’Taks, dealing some internal damage.

 

 

Turn 4:   Still on the initiative (this seems to be pattern – I win the first round and then loose the next several after that) the Narn press the attack against Vatrenus while HMS Eliphas moves out of the scope of the battle for a more important task.  The badly damaged Ka’Bin’Tak lays waste to Vatrenus, setting her adrift.  In turn the 1 of the 3 remaining Octurions avenge this loss by destroying the Ka’Bin’Tak while Flotilla Secundus Gladius along with the other 2 Octurions directs their battle lasers and matter cannons into the remaining Narn ship.

 

 

Turn 5:  The Centauri are able to get the upper hand on the Narn for Initiative for what is figured to be the last round of this battle. (Turns out it was.)  The 3 Octurions score several critical hits on the Ka’Bin’Tak and manage to reduce the ship down a skeleton crew.  Sneaking in the aft is a Corvan, HMS Tusculum, which hits with one shot of its twin particle array scoring not only a solid strike but a critical one at that.  With this one blow the last of the Narn crew are taken out and Ka’Bin’Tak is turned into a floating mausoleum.  Needless to say HMS Tusculum’s crew is honored in the following celebrations and feasts.

 

 

Analysis:  Having 9 ships to Scott’s 3 pretty much allowed me to dictate which ship or squadron was in the necessary firing arc.  Or in Scott’s case not letting him line up for his bore-sighted weapons.  I did make one minor movement issue by not determining the distance from remaining to the board edge on Scott’s side with my one Corvan.  With the Annihilation battle we fought it is assumed the neither fleet will leave the battlefield and I ended up sending one Corvan off the board.  While it was not technically destroyed I am going to put it out of action for a turn/two at the most.  I think this is the fairest thing to do.

 

Aftermath:

 

             “You have your orders.  I expect you to follow them to the letter.” stated Prefect Socinus, signaling that the conversation was over.

“We live to serve…”  the commander of the HMS Eliphas replied before their hyper-comm connection was terminated.

 

“…and we serve to live.” Optio Tetanus finished, his voice barely above a whisper, completing the regime’s motto with the unofficial ending.  He glanced quickly at his CO to see if he had overheard, but the commander betrayed no sign that he had.

 

Turning to look at the expectant faces of his crew, masked in the harsh red half light of the battle stations condition set on the bridge, the commander stabbed a button on his chair’s command console activating the ability to address the entire crew.

 

“Legionaries of the Centauri Republic…” he began.  “We have an important honor placed upon our ship, on us – to find the Kal-Berr.  Already our skilled navigator has begun to plot a course to follow the faint remnants of the hyper-space jump point used by the fleeing Bin’Tak.”

 

He stopped briefly to look his bridge crew but all had busied themselves with the tasks at hand.  ‘As well they should’ he thought.  “We have the honor of being the tip of the spear.  The entire of Task Force Ultor waits for our finding the Kal-Berr.  FAILURE is not an option.  WE …LIVE …TO …SERVE.”

 

“We live to serve.” rejoined back from all the crew before the All Hands channel was closed.

 

“Engineer, redirect power from weapons to the stealth generators till we have cleared any sensors in this system.” the commander directed as he settled back into the command chair.

 

“Yes, commander.”  With this, HMS Eliphas’ hull shimmered slightly before fading out of existence, at least to the electronic eye.  The hunt was back on.

 

 Thanks to Rich for the Battle report, pics, and fluff!

EA Turn 5-6 Retrospective: A Staff Meeting

Posted in A Call to Arms, A Call to Arms 1e, ACTA Campaign with tags , , , , on March 31, 2008 by redcoat668

SCENE: Conference room aboard the Orion-class station Victoria in orbit above Gustaviv’s Regret. Eight Earthforce officers are seated around an oval conference table set against a large picture window in which TF PEGASUS and its supply elements are framed holding station above the planet. Admiral redcoat668 activates a holotank which displays a rotating representation of the sector map.

redcoat668: All right, let’s hear it. (motions to his ADC)Petheridge?

PETHERIDGE: The last set of re-enforcements from Earth built us up to 12 ships of the line, plus capital-class support elements and full fighter complements. We’re officially back to where we were before Saguntum III and Caesar’s Folly.

General mutterings and unhappiness as this name is brought up.

redcoat668: I know…I know. That entire experience was pretty much crap, and it knocked us out of the game for about two months. Fortunately, while the rest of us were getting our butts lovingly spanked by the Centauri, General Yun’s exploration fleet was filling in our map of the sector. General?

YUN: We’ve added around eight new systems to the catalog, some of them with deposits of both germanium and Q-40. We’ve also established two jumpgates at Da’Valk and Tubanos. We’ve also got a bunch of random anomalies, ship graveyards and comets and whatnot.

PETHERIDGE: Commercial traffic is starting to flow through the gates and the Joint Chiefs sent us an entire battleship group to protect our new interests in the sector. May I introduce EAS Prospero, Morgana, and Maerlyn(the holotank image displays three Warlock-class destroyers)

EAS Prospero awaits sealer.

GENERAL CARRIERE: whistles. So they’re finally deploying the new Warlocks?

redcoat668: Just our “trial” battlegroup, and EAS Warlock herself which is staying in Earth orbit, firmly in the public eye while our three beauties undergo combat trials out here where nobody’s watching. I understand there’s some kind of stopgap “hybrid” ship program going on as well, but the President refuses to let those be deployed outside Alliance space.

general eye-rolling. GENERAL KAER suppresses the urge to make a wanking motion.

redcoat668: They’re just in time too, because our new Centauri “friends” are eager for us to begin joint offensive operations against the League.

KAER: And you told them that we’re not even close to being able to take on the League and their “Emperor,” and that even if we were we have a Presidential Order forbidding us from doing so, right?

redcoat668: I told them that we’d meet our treaty obligation to defend the Minbari, and that, gentlemen, is what I intend to do.

The holotank displays a map of the Minbari/League front:

The Minbar-League Front

redcoat668: We’re calling it Operation MARATHON. Essentially, we’re cutting down the Centauri front and repositioning to defend our new jumpgates and assist the Minbari before their crystal-waving and interpretive dance is erased from the sector by the Brakiri.

We’re going to concentrate at Moshelle, which, thanks to General Buechner is now squeaky clean and Raider-free. That way, we’ll be positioned to use either the Tubanos or Da’valk gate on the attack, and also to defend against nasty surprises coming out of either gate that the system defenses can’t handle.

CARRIERE: And if the Fanheads decide to break our agreement and roll up our systems?

redcoat668: I’m hoping that they’re going to be too occupied with the League to think about that for another couple of months. By then, hopefully, my request to the Joint Chiefs for additional fleets will have been answered.  We’ve got a sizable fleet at the treaty base in Caesar’s Folly, and Gustaviv’s Regret is only a jump away from Moshelle. Besides Emperor Cartagia and President Clark both have their signatures on that agreement, and we all know what that’s worth.

repressed snickers  

redcoat668: All right then…let’s get it done.

a scuffle is heard outside the room. suddenly the door bursts open and JULIE MUSANTE enters, followed by a sheepish-looking Earthforce marine with an SBS patch on his shoulder. 

MARINE: I’m sorry sir, she insisted on-

MUSANTE: (interrupting) Admiral this is the FOURTH time that you’ve held a staff meeting without informing me. Do I need to show you the Executive Order requiring a Political Officer to attend all such meetings yet again?

redcoat668: Hey now…let’s not get all crazy here. This isn’t actually a staff meeting…it’s more like an informal chat since I’ve got the privilege of having all my Task Force commanders in the same place for once. Look: we have donuts!

MUSANTE gives him a withering look and then stares significantly at the holotank which is still displaying the fleet deployments to Moshelle. The other officers try to look like they’re not paying attention.

MUSANTE: That had better be a defensive redeployment I’m looking at, Admiral.

redcoat668: Yes Ma’am, it is that thing.

MUSANTE: Good. Because I don’t want what happened before I arrived to happen again. You know…where you almost scuttled President Clark’s treaty with the Centauri…

YUN: (muttering) The one where we embarrassed ourselves by letting them pound the Narn back to the stone age with mass drivers?

MUSANTE: …with your completely unauthorized attack in Saguntum III.

redcoat668: Ms. Musante, I can assure you, on the life of the dog that regulations do not permit me to keep here, I am not planning ANY offensive action this month.

MUSANTE: Good. And next time you hold a staff meeting, Admiral, I’d better hear about it. (she leaves)

redcoat668: All right…donuts are gone, let’s get going.

the officers file out except for CARRIERE and KAER, who remain behind

redcoat668: Sometimes I actually envy Sheridan. Nothing to do but sit on Babylon 5, rake in the funds from commercial traffic, and complain about the government. No Nightwatch, no Executive Orders, and no effing Political Officers. Plus he did not-

CARRIERE: I know, I know…he did not sleep with that woman.

redcoat668: She was so much nicer before I did.

  

Turn 6: War by Proxy

Posted in A Call to Arms, A Call to Arms 1e, ACTA Campaign on March 24, 2008 by redcoat668

Two great alliances of convenience have been formed out of the battles of the previous five turns:

  1. The Centauri Republic, its clients, the Narn Regime, and the Minbari Federation, and their ally the Earth Alliance.
  2. The League of Non-Aligned Worlds and their provisional member, the Tza’sol Narn.

Neither the League or the Centauri have a position to attack each other without a costly jumpgate battle, so both sides are building their forces and either attacking through their own client states, or attacking enemy client states. The winner of this round will have the advantageous position next turn when the two great empires strike at each other directly.

The Narn Regime started out the new round of operations by attacking the League staging point at Ope’diar, and moving to confront their breakaway cousins the Tza’sol Narn at Business Mission, whose own impending assault was disruped by the arrival of the fleets loyal to the Kha’ri. The Narn Regime fleet in Ope’diar was joined by a Minbari task force, eager to strike back against the League. The Centauri continued to hunt down the Tza’sol forces in Defiance, and the League moved to defend their own flavor of  Narn in Ancona. The Earth Alliance, meanwhile, positioned its fleets near its newly discovered jumpgates, ready to strike against its enemies when their forces had moved into position.

Click here for larger image

 Battles to be resolved this turn:

  • Business Mission (F11): Narn Regime/Tza’sol Narn
  • Ope’diar (C8): Narn Regime/League of Non-Aligned Worlds/Minbari Federation
  • Defiance (F8): Centauri/Tza’sol Narn (2 battles)
  • Ancona (G7): League of Non-Aligned Worlds/Narn Regime

The Battle for Defiance: Centauri vs Narn

Posted in A Call to Arms, A Call to Arms 1e, ACTA Battles, ACTA Campaign with tags , , , , on March 17, 2008 by redcoat668

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.

The Battle for Newport: Minbari vs League

Posted in Uncategorized on February 26, 2008 by redcoat668

The scene:  Imperial throne room, League of Non-Aligned Worlds: 

Prime minister:   “My Emperor, it is my solemn duty to inform you that the Minbari infidels have violated our most sacred time of reunion.  I present to you the personal log of Captain Bluescale of Sunhawk 23, on extended patrol in the Newport system.  He was recording a message to his granddaughter in his personal log, which recorded the attack…    

The log Plays…

“My granddaughter, we are orbiting  (Planet name) in the Newport system.   I am sorry that I cannot be with you on this rare holiday.   The duties of war are very demanding of an old Drazi like myself.  We can only hope we will be victorious, and that I may resume my retirement and return to you soon.   I hope to be there when you graduate from school…(voice of a deck officer breaks in.)  “Captain, jump points opening ahead and astern!”

Captain:  Evasive Maneuvers!  (Speaking aloud to himself) Who would dare?  Weapons officer, Identify them!

W.O.:  The signatures are… Definitely Minbari… Four ships: Tinashi, Leshath, Tigara, Sharlin…   By the Gods!  We have positive IDs on them.  That’s the squadron from Volk’s Star!  How did they get here…

Captain: (finishing the thought) “From so far away”…  To himself:  “We are clearly overmatched, but cannot let them have a system so close to home.   Com: Put me on speaker to the crew”… “The infidel has come to our very homes!  For the preservation of our nation and the lives of those we love, we cannot retreat.  We will hold them here as long as possible, and strike when we can!”

“Com: Speaker off, Launch log buoy”…

The visual changes to an exterior of the battle as recorded by the buoy… The battle is mercifully short.  The Sharlin fires a single neutron beam into the dodging Sunhawk with deadly precision, returning Sunhawk 23 to the dust from which she came.

Log playback ends.

Emperor:  Prime minister, go and prepare the people for an audience.   Tonight we embark upon a dark journey, one of Jihad!  We will exterminate every Minbari to the last man, woman, and Child.  Only our death as a people shall stop us! They of all the infidel races we had believed to be a civilized people, capable of respecting our religious beliefs.   It is proven not to be so.  To my people, I pledge our military will find them wherever they may hide and destroy them!  

And minister, dispatch the Home Fleet to Newport.  Draw as much support from the outlying systems as necessary.   What was ours shall be ours again. 

PM:  So it shall be done.

Emperor: (Lost in his own thoughts) “Why did they attack such a small world?  They could have chosen any number of more important targets.  And yet, they came here.   Certainly it is close to home world, but insignificant at that.  I wonder, could there be outside influence like the Vorlons?  They certainly have a hyperspace mastery that would explain the jump from Volk’s Star to Newport in a single jump.  They could new technology also.”

The Emperor summons a common assistant.   “Take a memo to the PM, the science minister and archeology minister.  They are to prepare an expedition to Newport, have them coordinate the operation through the PM.   He is to arrange military escort.  Schedule the mission for A.S.A.P. once Newport has been taken from the infidels.”

Thanks to Marc for the nifty fanfic writeup.