The Quadrant 15 incident (Fighter Test)


The Quadrant 15 incident.

Late 2263, Earth Force notices a slow increase in raiding activity around the jump route through Quadrant 15. In an attempt to hunt down the raiding parties a small carrier group is dispatched in what was described as a routine patrol. The EAS Ottowa was re-routed from her decomissioning ceremony and headed for hyperspace on one last mission. Staging at Babylon 5 the Ottowa grouped with the Nova Dreadnaught EAS Caliban, The Hyperion Cruiser EAS Vishnu and the Chronos EAS Ypres. The fleet departed and jumped to the outer reaches of Quadrant 15.

On the bridge of the Ottowa Captain Icombe fiddled with his harness. It had never quite sat right. For 15 years he had commanded the Ottowa and still the damn harness chaffed.

"Initial scans coming in Captain, the debris clouds in the area are making things sketchy, but I am picking up numerous small contacts and a few larger vessels. It could be those Raiders."

"Very good Lt. Shevchneko. Lt. MacLean, launch the ready fighters and sound battle stations. Helm, take us in."

Captain Icombe tightened his harness and shuffled his shoulders. "Make my boat into a museaum would they..., still plenty of fight in this old girl yet..." He felt the engines acceleration kick through the ship as sirens called battle-stations.

A Raid level Carrier Clash between EA and Centauri. All crews are Crew Quality 4

EAS Ottowa, Avenger heavy carrier. (4 Thunderbolts, 4 Starfuries)
EAS Caliban, Nova dreadnaught. (4 Starfuries)
EAS Ypres, Chronos frigate
EAS Vishnu, Hyperion hevay cruiser (1 Starfury)

Centauri (I couldn't be bothered thinking up names for these):
Balvarix strike carrier (4 Sentris, 4 Rutarians)
Sulust escort destroyer
2 Vorchan warships (Squadron)
Corvan scout (1 Sentri)
1 Independant Sentri Wing
1 Rutarian replacement wing (in Balvarix)

Board 4' x 4'. Stellar debris: Gas clouds in squares I and K, asteroids (density 7) in G. The majority of the battle occured in F and J. The Earth Alliance never won the initiative.


Setup: The EA lost the initiative (due to scout re-roll) and deployed first into sector B, the Hyperion, Nova, Avenger and Chronos lined up abrest. A picket line of Starfuries occupied the the front of the deployment zone. Centauri occupied sectors N and O. The Sulust and Corvan flanked the Balvarix, while the Vorchans prepared to flank the EA by going around the asteroid field. A fighter screen guarded the Carrier group. (The centauri fighters are not fast enough to keep up ith the Vorchans, before they All Power to Engines!)

Turn 1 Centauri win the initiative.
Earth heads forward, toward the dust cloud in J, the carrier drops back slightly from the warships as it launches 2 Starfuries and 2 Thunderbolts.
The Centauri force breaks, the Vorchan squadron All Power to Engines! and accelerate through the dust cloud in K and manages to impose asteroids between them and the Chronos. While the Centauri carrier group advances along the edge of the dust cloud, scrambling Rutarians.

Fighters advance to picket stations on both sides.

There is no shooting this turn as the stellar debris blocks all lines of sight.

Turn 2 Centauri win the initiative.
The Earth advance continues, the Chronos skirts the asteroid field trying to get a shot in at the approaching Centauri. The Avenger launches its remaining fighters covered by the Nova, while the Hyperion lines up a boresight on the Corvan.
The Centauri head into the dust cloud (J) to begin firing, the Sulust concentrates all fire on the Hyperion. While the Balvarix lingers outside attempting to clear its hangers and stay out of sight. The Vorchan squadron Comes About! and skirts around the Asteroid field to G, positioning for the rush to the Earth rear next turn.

EA Fighters move first, 2 Thunderbolts and 2 Starfuries ignite their Afterburners and attack the two Vorchans, The other Starfuries form a picket screen 13" away from the Sentri's (at the F/J border). The Sentri's and Rutarians dive into the attack, unable to reach dogfighting range, they open up with their fighters guns. 2 Starfuries fall to Centauri and are unable to make it back to the carrier. The Centauri dodge all the EA return fire. The fighters on the Vorchans cause 3 damage, between the two ships.

The Corvan fails to perform a weapons lock on the Chronos.
As the ships begin firing, the Sulust causes 10 damage to the Hyperion, which in turn passes the Stealth roll to see the Corvan (new range rules) and burns it from stem to stern with heavy lasers. The Vorchans bring down a Starfury, which limps back to the carrier, while the Nova blows a Sentri flight out of the sky. The Chronos' railguns destroy a Rutarian flight (again hit with new Stealth rules). While the Pulse Cannon shots are dodged by the Sentris.

Turn 3 Centauri win the initiative.
The Earth Alliance continues to advance. The Avenger re-deploys the Starfury. The Chronos manoeuvres between the asteroids and the Dust Cloud to bear down on the Balvarix, while the Nova turns into the passage, it slows slightly to bring the port batteries to bear on the back of the asteroid field where the Vorchans will emerge. It launches its last Starfury with protection orders to supplement its guard. The Hyperion goes head-to-head with the Sulust.
The Sulust slowly advances through the dust cloud while the Balvarin advances slowly along the edge of the dust cloud, launching its last fighter as the Chronos rounds into view. The vorchans finish the pincer, fast enough to just move into the Nova's aft arc.

The Centauri fighters pounce on the Starfuries, a Sentri and a Rutarian fall to the guard flight around the Nova, the remaining Rutarians attack the Hyperion. The EA fighters come about and attack the Vorchans, one is taken from behind by 3 Thunderbolts and 1 Starfury. A lone Starfury from G heads toward the Balvarix. The Dogfights are brutal affairs, the Centauri just hold the upper hand, but a Starfury makes it back to the Avenger. The attacks on the ships, degrade the EA interceptors down a bit, but nothing gets through. 8 damage is delt to a Vorchan by EA fighters, leaving it 1 Damage short of crippled.

Ship fire commences with the Sulust destroying the Hyperion with its lasers (critical hits to weapons, engines and Engineering just taking it over the edge) while Particle Arrays bounced off its Hull, leaving it a burning hulk, its starboard weapons are interceped by the Chronos. Which opens fire on the Balvarix, and Sulust. The Heavy Pulse cannons are easily intercepted by the Balvarix, but the Sulust suffers under the accuray of the EA gunnery. Its interceptors fail early and despite it dodging a rail gun shot, its front weapons are knocked off line. The Vorchans open fire on the Nova, a shot punches through the armour resulting in localised decompression. The Nova returns fire, its aft beams tear through the near undamaged Vorchan leaving it almost crippled, while the pulse cannons pour more fire into the Sullust and bring down another Sentri near the Balvarix. The Balvarix opens fire on the Chronos, a single Twin Particle Array gets through the interceptors (despite 3 Matter Cannons hitting the depleted interceptors). The Avenger opens fire on the Vorchans with its rear weapons, but misses. Its Plasma cannon brings down a Rutarian (new Stealth again), while Sentri's dodge the light fire that comes thier way.

Turn 4 Centauri win the initiative.
The Avenger just moves into the Dust Cloud (J) dropping its recovered Starfury into a dogfight with a nearby Sentri. The Sulust puts all power to engines and shoots clear of the fight in an attempt to buy time to repair its guns. The Nova clears the dust cloud and brings its broadsides to bear on the Balvarix as it tries to disappear into the dust (just short). The Chronos holds station, while the Vorchans make an attack run on the Avenger (1 Vorchan on CAF!, the other needed to turn).

A lone Sentri flies in to attack the 3 Thunderbolts and Starfury that were attacking the Vorchans in an attempt to hold them up. While the remaining Rutarian attacks the Avenger. The Starfury heading toward the Balvarix is intercepted and destroyed by a Sentri. The Sentris and Starfuries continue their dogfights around the burning Hyperion and the newly arrived Vorchans, joined this turn by the Nova's escort.
The Rutarian misses the Avenger, while the Sentris continue to dominate the dogfights, including destroying the Starfury in the 4 on 1. 2 Starfuries made it back to the Avenger while a Sentri wasn't so lucky.

The Vorchans open up on the Avenger, despite interceptors and dodge a few shots get through, stiking a fuel supply in the hangers (a 6-6 from a Twin Particle Array cripples the ship, 16 damage, 3 crew) taking the Carrier and Fleet Carrier traits off-line and damaging the weapons (-1 AD). The Nova opens up, Aft battery (lasers) destroy the lead Vorchan, as its munition stores explode leaving it a burning wreck (1 short of the explosion). The starboard batteries (lasers) hit the Balvarix causing localised decompressions, but nothing the big ship couldn't handle. Front batteries (Pulse) bring down the Sentri which limps back to the Balvarix. The Balvarix pours more fire into the crippeled Avenger, it dodges most of the hits, however a couple get through causing minor damage to its engines (-1 Speed). Further shots at the Chronos are intercepted with ease. The Avenger returns fire on its tormentors, the aft batteries hit the remaining Vorchan's reactor leaving it burning, while shots on the Balvarix damage the weapons (-1 AD).

The Sullust fails to repair its front weapons.

Turn 5 Centauri win the initiative, and quickly decide to flee.
The Sulust attempts to Come About!, but begins a slow turn to port. The Nova slides in beside the Chronos, broadsides trained on the Balvarix. It in turn enters the Dust cloud and opens a jump point. The Avenger manages to drag itself about and almost goes head to head with the Balvarix, redeploying a Starfury, while the Chronos pulls alongside the Balvarix' port.

The dogfights around the Vorchan/Hyperion graveyard continues while the last Rutarian makes another run at the Avenger. The 3 Thunderbolts bring down the lone Sentri, while one Sentri and (Nova Escort) Starfury remain around Vorchan hulks. The Rutarian once again misses the Avenger, as it dodges an Ion Bolt.

With the Centauri unable to fire, the EA dishes out revenge... The Chronos brings down a Rutarian with its particle beams, but it makes it back to the carrier. Its heavier weapons go straight through the Blavarix' interceptors raking up the damage and disabling the port weapons. Through the depleted interceptors the Nova pours more fire (Pulse), the Balvarix manages to dodge most of it. Its aft batteries knock out another Sentri, which makes it back to the carrier. The Avenger opens up with whats left of its Plama Cannon, while 2 hits are dodged, 3 get through resulting in secondary explosions tearing throught he Balvarix (+6 damage, +6 Crew). The Balvarix had weathered the storm, 1 damage off being crippled....

No repairs were made.

Turn 6 Centauri win the initiative.
The Blavarix limps through the jump gate and flees into hyperspace, while the Sulust puts all powers to engines and heads for deep space, before the Thunderbolts can catch it. The remaining Sentri flight is mauled by the surviving Starfury.

EAS Ottowa, 26 Damage, 31 Crew remaining, crippled and burning, -1AD, -1 Speed (3 Thunderbolts, 2 Starfuries).
EAS Caliban, 26 Damage, 31 Crew remaining (1 Starfury)
EAS Ypres, 19 Damage, 17 Crew remaining

Balvarix strike carrier reduced to 16 Damage, 20 Crew remaining (1 Sentry, 1 Rutarian), -1 AD, port weapons off-line.
Sulust escort destroyer reduced to 20 Damage, 23 Crew remaining, fore wepaons off-line

EAS Vishnu (destroyed by Sulust)

Corvan scout (destroyed by EAS Vishnu)
Vorchan warship (destroyed by EAS Ottowa)
Vorchan warship (destroyed by EAS Caliban)
Lots of fighters


On the Bridge of the Ottowa sirens screamed and blown consoles smouldered. Chatter came through the comms.

"Helm hard over, get the forward batteries on target, I want that Centauri destroyed before it can escape after what the've done to my ship!"

The Ottowa groaned and creaked as the turn took its toll. Then the sound of plasma cannons echoed through the hull. Spots of fire erutped across the Balvarix as bright plasma hit home, and secondary explosions blossomed from the hull.

"Its not going to be enough, that carriers going to escape"

Through the remaining bridge windows, they watched the hyperspace vortex close through swirls in the dust.

"Damn... Damn!" Icombe brought his hand down hard on a broken pannel. Sparks erupted momentarily. "Get damage control to the shuttle hangers as a priority. I want them cleared for shuttle launch and pilot recovery immediately. And Helm, take us out of this bloody dust..."

Captain Icombe sagged back into his chair as he felt the Ottowa turn. A museum piece they thought, well this museum piece has just taken on the some of the best the Centauri had to offer and it was the Centauri that had come out wanting. Icombe smiled, they could try and take his ship, but first he would find out what the damn Centauri were up to out here....

To be continued?
The dust cloud Dodges, tended to be about average (with only one or two from each volley being dodged).

However when you add it to interceptors 2 on Hull 5 ships, between the two 'saves', the number of hits goes down a lot.

I think the Hyperion being destroyed and the Sulust being disarmed were the major telling points of the engagement. Both of them are potent hunter/killer ships with 4AD of Super AP, Double Damage, Beams.

The terrain also swung things very much into the EAs favour as it blocked the line of sight (this also rendered the Corvan's redirect pretty useless). Which resulted in no firing in turn 1, despite the Sulust being in range with it's Lasers.
I'd like to see this in open space. A terrain-heavy board doesn't really favour the Centauri but anyting that lets you hide from those battle lasers favours the opponent...
Then give it a go, and post us the report here. :D

The stellar debris was rolled randomly, when you are rolling 16 dice there is inevitably going to be some sixes. I think it was just the location for the dust clouds that were the problem. It was the only contested roll the EA won - to choose table edge.

I do think that this game was one of the first I have played where scenery did play such a big part in it. Often it has just been making the battlefield a bit less bland as it played very little part in affairs. Though a planet in the 'engagement area' does spice things up a lot.
That engagement took me about an hour and a half to fight (because of note taking), including field setup and tidying away.
Excellent report, thanks!

One thing, though... I'd suspect that in the new three-part EA lists, the Avenger will be withdrawn from service before the first Chronos is comissioned.

Dunno for certain...maybe those who have Armageddon already could confirm?
No Quarter Nomad said:
Excellent report, thanks!

One thing, though... I'd suspect that in the new three-part EA lists, the Avenger will be withdrawn from service before the first Chronos is comissioned.

Dunno for certain...maybe those who have Armageddon already could confirm?

Not a problem. In SFoS the Avenger is out of service in 2261, the Chronos comes into service 2262. I fudged the timeline since I didn't weant to use a Poseidon. Hence the Captains fluff for the intro and epilogue. The Ottowa was going to be decomissioned before sent off somewhere random. The museum comment was shamelessly nicked from BSG.