Admiral Neratius Menkoria sat in his command chair onboard his flagship, the battlecruiser 'Velocian Hammer', waiting for reports from his communications-officer, as his '101st Sorylian Liberation Fleet' left foldspace at the target coordinates. " Frigate Squadron 'Archaeon Sword' and 'Euornith axe' reporting successful jump, Cruiser squadron 'Dactyls Spear' and Sazurius Venkuria's gunships have jumped as well sir." "Very good sergeant, any enemy signals?" Ever since they received Admiral Sika's distress signal, Admiral Menkoria was eager to get revenge on the Zenian League. After countless encounters on the Sorylian border, he had developed an increasing hatred against them. "We got two unknown signals, sir, they seem to be orbiting a planet. The receiver-readings match, they are our targets!" Two days ago high command ordered them to support the Terran fleet in the Amber Sector by capturing two Transmitters of utmost importance, activating them and holding them for as long as they could. "Helmsman, bring us in boarding range to the one closest to the moon. First mate Santaria , get a strike team in a boarding shuttle ready to capture that transmitter, prepare a second one for the technicians. Sergeant, set the whole fleet to alert-status one, this is too easy. Something smells spidy to me..."
Admiral Huu'ashh'iiikk watched with the glee of the patient hunter, as the Sorylian fleet left foldspace just as he had planned. Those puny little lizards were completely oblivious to the presence of his 812. Hunter Fleet 'Krash'ka'sssssa'. Once they would divide their fleet to activate the Transmitters, his trap would spring and his mighty Dreadnought 'The Stalker' would smash the tiny lizardman into pieces. He had orders from the Twenty themselves to help the Dindrenzi hold the Amber-Sector. "Sir, the enemy seems to concentrate their fleet on only one side of the planet, what do we do,sir?" "Open fire! Let's hunt them down!" So the lizard commander wasn't as foolish as he had thought, nonetheless it didn't matter. He would crush them either way, with them divided or with them unified...
Ladys and gentleman, i present to you our first battlereport playing the first mission of the Flashpoint-Amber Campaign:
Neratius: (Burn Thrusters, Intel Gathered, Drives to Maximum, Thermal Control)
1x Hasta Battlecruiser
3x Warwolf Gunship
4x Falcata Cruiser
5x Reaper Frigates
5x Reaper Frigates
Huai: (Burn Thrusters, Intel Gathered, Drives to Maximum, Regroup, Repair Drones)
1x Apex Dreadnought
3x Bane Shunt Cruiser
3x Assasin Cruiser
2x Venom Destroyer
2x Nidus Frigates
2x Nidus Frigates
Deployment: We had a big planet in the middle of the table, with a small moon orbiting it clockwise. Outside the picture on the left was a debris field. The ambush markers were put to the left objective and close to the Relthoza cruisers on the right.
The Relthoza regroup their frigates into one squadron, the Sorylians set their drives to max.
The Relthoza win the initiative, activate their frigate squadron, turn to the right and launch their interceptors to establish a point defence perimeter around the fleet.
The Sorylians activate their gunships and blast half the cruisersquadron down with scatterweapons and a nuclear torpedo crit, therefore securing the "first catch of the day".
Shocked by this brutal firepower, the Relthoza move the dread towards the enemy fleet, launching fighters for even more PD.
The Sorylian cruisers split their fire on the undamaged cruiser and one shuntcruiser, critting both.
The damaged Relthoza cruisers roll lucky and blow their Sorylian counterpart into bits, securing "first catch of the day" for their fleet as well.
The Sorylian frigates deal a damage to a cruiser.
The shuntcruisers launch their bombers, dealing no damage to the cruisers. They jump behind the gunships dealing only one damage.
The Sorylian frigates drive towards the shuntcruisers behind their lines and open fire, killing the already damaged one and the damaged cruiser.
Finally the Sorylian Flagship activates and deals a damage to the last remaining cruiser.
The remaining Relthoza Cruiser fails his disorder check and the Sorylians buy back their TAC card.
Both admirals gather as much intel as possible, although the Relthoza seem to have the better IO's as they win the Initiative. The Destroyers reveal their failed ambush on the left.
The shuntcruisers activate first, driving fore and jumping back into boarding range. They crit the farthest gunship with their corrosive primaries and board another, rendering their drives useless.
The Sorylian Cruisers turn around, shoot at one shuntcruiser and only manage to damage it. Enraged by the failure of their gunners, they try to board the remaining shuntcruiser, but fail horribly due to their well known mortal fear of spiders.
The crew of the last remaining spider cruiser has had enough and is promtly turning around, trying to escape the battle.
The Sorylian frigates move behind the shuntcruisers, critting the damaged one. They also fall victim to their arachnoiphobia as they fail their boarding attempt against the remaining shuntcruiser.
The dreadnought moves steadily towards the midst of the battle, unleashing his torpedos into the far away frigate squadron, double critting them.
The remaining Sorylian frigates move to the asteroid field, shooting down a Relth. frigate.
The destroyers drop their full stop.
The battlecruiser moves up and unleashes his broadside into the barely flying shuntcruiser, killing it.
The Relthoza frigates join the fight and destroy a Sorylian counterpart.
At last the gunships activate, blasting another frigate into oblivion.
While the Relthoza still try to get more information about the enemy, the Sorylians set their drives to boost. Through superior Intel, the Relthoza win the Initiative again.
The shuntcruiser imitates the fleeing cruiser and jumps to the other side of the board.
The Sorylian Frigates continue their hunt of their Relthoza counterparts, blowing one more out of the sky.
The Relthoza cruiser goes to hold the left objective, in case they win the engagement on the right.
The Sorylian cruisers turn around to shoot at the Relthozan one, but miss due to its stealthsystems.
The Relthozan admiral has had enough and unleashes the full firepower of his dreadnought, critting a gunship and damaging the battlecruiser and a frigate in his aft.
In response the gunships finish off the remaining Frigate and try to damage the cruiser and board the dread, but failed.
After lifting full stop last round, the destroyers now enter the fight, jumping forward and critting the enemy flagship.
The rear-guarding frigates target the dreadnoughts defensive systems, getting a damage done and setting him on fire.
Finally the Battlecruiser turns, unleashes both of his broadsides, which leads to a malfunction in his shuntdrive, bringing him out of coherency.
The tactics for both admirals stay the same, the Relthoza gain the initiative againwith the help of their superior intel.
The Cruiser goes into full stop at the objective, using the planet as cover.
After still having three perfectly intact cruisers, they turn around, shoot at the destroyers damaging one through his cloak and rendering the drives of the dreadnought unusable.
In return, the dread destroys a gunship and damages the battlecruiser.
The battlecruiser then activates, doing nothing.
The shuntcruiser whiffs at the frigates, doing nothing.
The Sorylian frigates on the other hand kill off the cruiser at the objective.
The Destroyers move back into coherency.
The gunship continues on his way to the left side, coming dangerously close to the moon.
The shuntcruiser looses his third crew to the fire, but the dreadnought gets his engine back online.
Both admirals order their ships to burn their thrusters and without intel, the Relthoza give the initiative to the Sorylians.
With their cruisers still mostly unharmed, they unleash their broadsides into the dreadnought, dealing one damage only.
In return the dread turns towards them , crits one of them as well as the battlecruiser and a frigate.
The frigates then crit a destroyer, destroying it.
The remaining destroyer gets into the back of the battlecruiser, killing it.
The frigates on the left turn around, shooting their starboard broadsides into the shuntcruiser, damaging it.
In return the shuntcruiser jumps to the objective, hoping his cloak will protect him from further frigate fire.
Last but not least, the gunship made it around the moon thanks to it burning its thrusters.
Sadly there is no photo of the end of this turn...
Whilst the Sorylians still get the maximum out of their thrusters, the Relthoza switched back to analyzing their foe, but still loosing the initiative to the Sorylians.
As his first activation, the Sorylian admiral orders his cruisers to get close to the objective and try to kill the dreadnought, which they fail to do.
Seeing the end of this engagement, the shuntcruiser gets into the Sorylian deploymentzone.
The gunship uses the gravity of the moon it so narrowly escaped to launch itself towards the objective, firing useless shots at the shuntcruiser.
The remaining destroyer jumps into the enemys deplyomantzon, out of the picture, as well, but gets to crit a cruiser in the back.
The three remaining frigates in the midst of the battle try to damage the dread, but fail.
The dread in return kills off two frigates and a cruiser, which conludes this epic game that ended in a perfect draw(13vs13)
(At this stage we realized we could get onto the bench of the Sorylian player and make photos from a much better perspective ^^)
Conclusion: I made some very big mistakes in deployment and the first turn (deploying at the 12" mark-> no stealth, not revealing the destroyers, that i placed on the wrong side) but all in all it was a very fun game, enhanced through the story-telling nature of the mission. 5 Stars for Spartan games for giving us this immersive mission!
This battle would forever be a reminder for admiral Huu'ashh'iiikk to never underestimate his opponent again. His hubris almost cost him his entire fleet. The twenty would not be pleased with this result. As his dreadnought plowed through the remainder of his enemy, he had the confidence that he could still wipe them out, but for what price? He had lost almost all of his fleet, 598 lives lost. Those pesky lizards had surprised him as they instantly blew half of the cruiser squadron ' Xssa'thssi' to pieces with their nuclear missiles. And continued to fight like a beast that does not want to accept its place as pray... "Sir, the enemy is activating their shuntdrives." "Very well, get the repair crews in order and order all remaining ships to look for survivors, enough blood has been spilled today, let's regroup."
Admiral Menkoria watched with anguish as his flagship, the 'Velocian Hammer', exploded midhips, breaking into two pieces, slowly falling towards the planet and bursting into flames in the athmosphere. At first he thought it would be a slaughter, as his first volleys decimated the Relthozan ships. All went well until, out of nowhere, this fracking huge dreadnought appeared. It caught him completely by surprise as it shredded through his main battleline. He had planned for everything, had his nuclear warheads readied before the enemy was even detected. He had a squadron of frigates guarding his rear against those pesky shuntcruisers. But in the end, he had to have his crew abandon ship and resettle to the cruiser 'Litany of Fury', which at least had a functional shuntengine. Right then, in an escapepod, he got the order from high command to retreat. High command didn't seem to have anticipated a Relthozan presence at these coordinates, so their reaction, albeit being slow as ever, was not what Admiral Neratius Menkoria had expected.