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The Battle for Business Mission: Narn vs Narn

Posted in A Call to Arms, A Call to Arms 1e, ACTA Battles, ACTA Campaign with tags , , , , , on December 3, 2008 by redcoat668

Turn/Time: Turn 6/April, 2261

Scenario: Flee to the Jumpgate (modified)

Terrain: One jumpgate.

Situation: With the Tza’sol position crumbling in the face of Centauri aggression, the remnants of the Narn Regime decide it’s time to forcibly bring their breakaway brethren back into the fold. A powerful Kha’ri loyalist task force is formed to take the jumpgate at the lucrative trade world of Business Mission and destroy the Tza’sol fleet there. As the attackers deploy from hyperspace, Narn on both sides prepare for that bloodiest and most unforgiving of battles – brother against brother.  

TO&E:

Narn Regime:

  • 1x Bin’Tak
  • 8x G’quonth (shipbreaker mines)
  • 1x G’tal

bobs_fleet

Tza’sol Narn:

  • 1x Ka’Bin’Tak
  • 4x Bin’Tak
  • 5x G’quan
  • 1x Var’Nic
  • 1xT’loth
  • 2x Rongoth

scott_set_up

Turn 1: The Tza’sol admiral kept his fleet in tight formation as the loyalists exited the gate, leveraging the longer range of his mines over the loyalists more powerful but shorter-ranged shipbreakers. His Bin’tak, the only ship in range, peppered the loyalists with mines as they deployed into their own battle formations.

end_turn_1_bob

end_of_turn_1_scott

Turn 2: Now ready for battle, the loyalist Narn trained their heavy lasers on their Tza’sol opponents and let fly while contuning to advance. A shot from their flagship tore into the Tza’sol Ka’bin’tak’s engines, rendering it immobile, while a G’quonth sliced her heavy laser into a Tza’sol Bin’tak’s main reactor, producing a critical explosion before the Tza’sol engineers could activate safety protocols. The resulting explosion and accompanying wave of Cadmium-2 radiation killed the entire crew instantly, leaving the ship adrift (there were three 5-6 crew crits in a row!). The loyalists were not wholly unscathed, however, as their opponents’ mines and firepower took their toll.  A lucky hit brought the loyalists’ G’tal flagship to a halt, leaving both sides’ admirals in the unenviable postion of having to conduct the battle from stationary ships – and boresighted on each other. Trying desperately to avoid the massive blasts of the Tza’sol mines, loyalist and Tza’sol fighters engaged each other in their own dance of death.

end_turn_2

Turn 3: Like gunfighters, the loyalist and Tza’sol flagships stared each other down – and then unleashed their firepower. The G’tal got the worst of the exchange and was left crippled and with only a skeleton crew to keep her running. The loyalist admiral promptly transferred his flag to the Bin’tak. Meanwhile, the heavily damaged loyalist cruisers were concentrating their fire on the Tza’sol dreadnoughts, their combined fire destroying one Tza’sol Bin’tak with what would have been a most satisfying explosion – had it not engulfed four flights of loyalist Frazis.  As the battle raged, engineers aboard both flagships worked frantically to repair battle damage. The loyalists succeeded in repairing the damage to their Bin’tak’s engines while the Tza’sol Ka’bin’tak fixed its faulty fire control systems.

turn_3_end     

Turn 4:  At last the loyalist fleet had reached shipbreaker range, but with its numbers sadly depleted. The shipbreaker mines of the loyalist G’quonths wreaked tremendous damage on the Tza’sol fleet, but the remaining ships were not enough to turn the tide of the battle. The Tza’sol Bin’taks quickly finished off two more loyalist G’quonths, and a final Bin’tak salvo destroyed the Loyalist flagship. With no direction from their Admiral, the remaining loyalists individually broke contact and fled for open space.

end_turn_4

Aftermath: The Tza’sol forces made a thorough sweep of the area for survivors, and the loyalist prisoners found themselves well-treated. Among those recovered were the loyalist Admiral and his staff, all of whom immediately defected to the Tza’sol (the alternative -execution by the Kha’ri for this fiasco, was unpalatable).

The Tza’sol Narn, whose stock had been at a low ebb after their well-publicised failures against the Centauri, gained a great deal of prestige in the sector from their victory at Business Mission and many of the burgeoning Narn expatriate population now began to see them as a valid alternative to the Kha’ri-in-exile. 

The Earth Alliance, unsure which Narn faction most deserved an autographed Molly Rome photo, instead spent the money on some buffalo wings and a copy of Johnny English as a morale booster. Molly Rome did not attend the showing, though she sent a nice note.

Molly Rome comforts the Narn

Analysis: With two roughly equal Narn fleets, this battle ended up hinging on the advantages of regular vs shipbreaker mines. Given the slowness of Narn ships, the regular mines proved significantly more useful as Scott was able to cause considerable damage over time as Bob tried to close with him. The attrition effect of mines really racks up over several turns.

Thanks to Marc for the pics and rough notes!

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The Second Battle of Ope’diar, Raid on Janegann: Minbari vs League

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

Turn/Time: Turn 6, April 2261

Scenario:  A Call to Arms

Terrain: None

Situation: As the League defend their Ope’diar staging point from the Narn, a Minbari raiding force simultaneously jumps in-system near the industrial world of Janegann. Though his forces are already stretched to the breaking point, the CnC Ope’Diar scrapes together a small battlegroup to defend this vital source of war materiel. Sacrificing his system defence ships to lure away an over-eager Minbari commander, the League task force commander now faces the remaining fleet elements.

TO&E:

Minbari Federation:

  • 3x Sharlin (one diverted away by a Raid)
  • 2x Tinashi
  • 1x Nial wing

League of Nonaligned Worlds:

  • 2x Takata (BSS Stormbringer, Takata)
  • 2x Kaliva (BSS Will of the Prophet, Tears of the Prophet)
  • 3x Varl (VCS Banshee, Spectre, Wraith)

league_setup

Setup: The League defenders set up at the centre of the board, with the Minbari approaching in two wings.

Turn 1: The Minbari struck hard and fast, ripping into Stormbringer and knocking her engines offline. The League defenders quickly recovered themselves, heavily damaging one of the oncoming Tinashis with concentrated fire.

turn_1end

Turn 2: Will of the Prophet finished off the damaged Tinashi, and quickly found herself the focus of unwelcome attention from the Minbari. Heavy engine damage turned her into a floating gun emplacement in short order, as the rest of the League ships continued to pour firepower into the Minbari fleet. Meanwhile, Stormbringer’s damage control parties quickly got her engines back into working order.

turn_2 

Turn 3: Finally in range, the Minbari fighters tore into the League ships, though one flight was downed by Stormbringer’s anti-fighter defenses. Tears of the Prophet blasted apart the remaining Tinashi, while accurate Minbari firepower destroyed the fire control (and crews) for Stormbringer and Takata’s forward guns.

turn_3_in_progress

Turn 4: Drifting through the remains of the Tinashi, Tears of the Prophet’s captain brought his ship about and did his best to keep the Minbari off of the still immobile Will of the Prophet. Nials buzzed around the stricken Kaliva like hornets, but Will’s captain kept his head, and his anti-fighter defenses destroyed the remaining independent Minbari fighters.

turn_4_come_about

Turn 5: The superior firepower of the Shar’lins now began to tell against the damaged League ships. Will of the Prophet, her DamCon crews still frantically struggling to repair her engines, was raked by heavy fire and crippled. She was soon joined by Stormbringer, already heavily scarred by combat.

turn_5

Turn 6: For one crucial moment, Tears of the Prophet’s sensor crews got a fix on one of the Shar’lins. She lined her grav lance up and let fly, gouging a gaping hole into the Minbari cruiser’s aft section and surgically removing her engines (and engineering crew). As the second Shar’lin lined up on Will of the Prophet, her captain regretfully bid his ship farewell and ordered his crew into the lifepods. Moments later, Will was an expanding cloud of burning metal fragments. At this point, the League commander recieved word of the successful defence of the Ope’diar starbase, and gave the order to withdraw there.

 

turn_6_ugh_he_got_me

turn_6_ugh_he_got_me_again

Aftermath: Tears of the Prophet’s crippling shot on the Shar’lin saved the League task force, as the Minbari commander declined to pursue with half of his available cruisers out of action. Tears of the Prophet managed to recover almost all of Will of the Prophet’s crew complement, and her captain and crew recieved a sizable bonus from a grateful Brakiri Syndicracy for their excellent combat performance.

With both his Shar’lins repaired, the Minbari commander knew it would be only a matter of time before a stronger League force arrived to evict him from his new conquest, and he began to send parties of Warrior Caste marines to the surface of Janegann to destroy any stockpiles and means of production that could not be transferred to his ships. The running battles between the Minbari and the Janegann planetary militia continued throughout the month.

Analysis:

Marc says: From a tactical standpoint, I planned on not having initiative for most of the game and sent experienced ships to this battle.  Upon losing set-up, and the scout based re-roll, I set up in the center of the board.  The reason for this was so that I would get a decent shot at something on turn one, regardless of how far away he positioned his ships. 

Gary split his formation into a weak side – strong side layout.  I went to the weak side because I thought I would be able to kill both of these ships quickly if I used the entire fleet against them.  It took 3 turns, not 2 as predicted. But this was not really a large problem.  I had ALL of my fleet remaining.  Some minor damage had been taken on most of my major ships.  At this point the biggest issue was the multiple critical hits to engines.  Basically, the one Kaliva had become a pillbox.  I still had the advantage in numbers and the scouts were doing a great job of lowering his stealth and concentrating weapons fire.  So I turned into the Sharlins. 

Critical hits won this one for Gary.  As soon as my turn was completed, the forward arc weapons went down on BOTH Takatas and were not heard from again.  Even so, the battle came down to a final throw of 16 dice to create just four hits and finish off the first Sharlin.  I only got three.  We had played up to the time limit and agreed to finish the turn.  Had the game gone just one more turn…   This was a very tight game.  Even our economic losses in ships are identical.  2x battle and 1x Patrol vs. 1x War and 1xBattle = 45RR.

Thanks to Marc for the pics, notes, and analysis!