Sunday, February 5, 2012

Sunday Starships: Battle of Vertex AAR

The first battle of the Chancellor campaign, the Battle of Vertex, occurred last Thursday at my place, and the results were not what I was expecting.  Three separate forces--an Avarian transport convoy, an Avarian military task force, and the Terran super galactic dreadnought--all crossed paths in the same sector of space (here's the roster of all the ships involved).  We gamed the ensuing battle using the Starfleet Wars rules.  
Gatherer Flight Green V, commanded from afar by dathbain and locally by longtime gamer and brand-new blogger Holdfast, entered from galactic south.  The group included 10 small transports, 4 medium transports, and two large transports (played by various Star Frontiers and Stardate: 3000 models), along with a quartet of stellar destroyer escorts (the one at lower left proxied by an unpainted starbomber because I couldn't find my fourth SD before game time).  The convoy's goal was to reach the other side of the map, and the safety of the friendly starfighters in the Vertex system, with as many transports as possible.
The super galactic dreadnought Chancellor, pride of the Terran armada, entered from the southeast at the bottom of the map.  Under the strategic command of fellow space gaming blogger Matgc and the local control of gamer and artist Jason Braun, this gigantic vessel carried 30 Meteor-class starfighters to help it in its mission to destroy Avarian shipping.
Appro parallel to the Terran capital ship, but near the northern edge of the map, were elements of the Avarian Homeworld Flight, including the Flight Leader, a galactic dreadnought, and the Cruiser Wing of six stellar cruisers.  Starfleet Wars aficionado Gonalvo directed this force from a distance, while fellow Hill Cantons campaigner Brad held tactical command.  
As the battle began, the transports sped north at their top speed of 4 (military ships can all go 5), while the escorts interposed themselves between the civilians and the Chancellor.
The cruisers and their flagship also veered toward the Terran ship.
The super galactic dreadnought headed toward the vulnerable transports, but started shooting at the stellar destroyers, damaging two, while the Avarians combined fire against the Terran ship, inflicting moderate damage.
The Chancellor began launching fighters as the birds' cruisers and dreadnought headed toward the convoy.
Then, the Avarian dreadnought broke from the cruiser wing and bore down on the Terran warship.
The two capital ships exchanged fire as their respective attack craft engaged in a dogfight.  Meanwhile, the transport ships fled toward the safety of the map's edge.  
The remaining Terran fighters, wary of the cruisers' close-in defense systems, hung back from the Avarians.
Off the starboard of the flagship Phoenix, the Terran Meteors made short work of the Avarian Bluejay starfighters, losing some of their own in the process.
The two capital ships soared past each other as the Terrans attempted to capture the Avarian dreadnought.  Such a prize would surely put to rest the unfounded claims that the Chancellor's commander got that position through nepotism!
By this time, the transports had almost reached the edge of the board.  Once they left the map, they were safe.
Frustrated that he was unable to reel in the other dreadnought with his tractor beam, the Terran captain unleashes a full volley of lasers and neutron torpedoes into the Phoenix.  The ship vaporizes with all hands!
Half of the Gatherer Flight has now left the battlefield.  Those much-needed medical supplies will be put to good use in helping the Avarians against the Terrans.
One of the wounded Hawk-class stellar destroyers, unable to keep up with the transport convoy, gets ganged up on by fighters from the Chancellor.
The cruiser wing turns to escort the transports off the map.
The starfighters finish off the lone destroyer, but the transports are long-gone.
Finally, out of spite, the Chancellor fires all its batteries at the retreating cruisers, vaporizing the rearmost vessel as the rest of the wing flees for the Vertex system.
Final tally:
  • Avarians--galactic dreadnought Phoenix and 4 Bluejay attack craft, stellar cruiser Falcon Crest, stellar destroyer Stormcrow destroyed; stellar destroyer Tigermoth suffered major damage.
  • Terrans--nine Meteor attack craft destroyed; super galactic dreadnought Chancellor suffered significant damage including [CENSORED BY ORDER OF OFFICE OF GALACTIC INTELLIGENCE].
To me, it looks like the Battle of Vertex was a partial victory for the Avarians, who did lose some significant firepower but managed to get all their transports to safety, while the Terran SGDN took some damage that will follow it throughout the campaign.  Interstellar observers, what do you think this battle will mean for the Chancellor campaign?


pahoota said...

Yeah! Great AAR; looks like heaps of fun.

Samulus said...

Great to see our strategic machinations played out!

HoldFast said...

Wonder what the strategic commanders think of the outcome?

Gonsalvo said...

Losing the Avarian GD is a significant loss, but probably inevitable if the convoy was to get through without suffering heavy losses, and in the strageic sense, the key goal is to supply Angle, thus averting a future full scale invasion by the pink skins. Depending upon exactly what "moderate damage" to the Chancellor is, I am pretty satisfied with this result.

Kudos to the tactical commanders, and hope the game was as fun and tense to play out as it sounded!

Matgc said...

"(...) Terrans attempted to capture the Avarian dreadnought. Such a prize would surely put to rest the unfounded claims that the Chancellor's commander got that position through nepotism!"

I'll have my father (the High Marshal of the Terran Fleet) chase all those liers down like a vulture after carcass!!! Bastards...

Anyway, it is unfortunate to see that the convoys made it to Vertex unharmed, but then again, they were heavily escorted, so I don't see any other way this battle could have ended.