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Old October 25th, 2004, 05:52 PM
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The War in the Jewell-Regina Theater

"Schwerpunkt" must be a Zhodani word. [img]smile.gif[/img]

The Zhodani 1st and 2nd Assault Fleets combined to form the spearhead of the Zhodani advance. At start, the two fleets combined had eight BatRons, six CruRons, two scout squadrons, two tanker squadrons and four assault squadrons. 72 spcae combat factors, 58 bombardment factors, and with the tankers capable of moving the entire force at "0 turns refuelling" as long as the system had a gas giant.

Crammed aboard the ships were two grav tank armies, a lift infantry army, two grav tank corps, an armored lift cavalry corps, four lift infantry corps, the Guards lift infantry corps, two Guards armored lift infantry divisions, two Guards jump troop divisions and a standard jump troop division.

Whew! That's more firepower than the entire Imperial at-start OOB.

This juggernaut steamrollered it's way across the subsectors, brushing aside the IN and crushing the vaunted fortress world of Efate. Had the game continued, Regina would have quickly fallen as well. Matt, the Zhodani CINC, loaded his big gun and pointed it straight at the heart of the Imperial defenses.

>From the pre-war intelligence assessment, the Imperials knew that the
1st Assault was at Chwistyoch with an obvious destination of Jewell. Since I allowed the Zhodani to use the base at Narval for at-start deployment (analogous to Quar and Zircon for the Imperials) the 2nd Assault was there pointed the same way - but the Imperials only had vague information about the 2nd Assault's composition and no clue about it's current location.

Meanwhile, the 65th Fleet was primed to attack the Jewell Cluster, with 15th Colonial (commanded by an NPC) assigned to mopping up neutral worlds in Cronor and Jewell subsectors. The 14th Colonial is set on a tour of the neutral zone with stops at Quar & Zircon; eventual destination is Regina.

On the Imperial side, the bulk of their slim defenses were assigned to these two subsectors. 214th Fleet was based at Jewell and bolstered the Colonial squadrons there with a single CruRon and two scout squadrons. 213th Fleet at Regina got two CruRons, the Regina colonial squadrons, three scout squadrons to patrol the neutral zone and the Extolay colonial CruRon, if the Fleet would move to "pick it up". The big guns were concentrated at Efate: both regular BatRons, a CruRon, the Efate colonial units, along with the mandated assault carrier. 212th Fleet was also granted operational control of the Feri, Wochiers and Alell colonial squadrons, as well as some additional ground units.

Poised just to coreward lay the Vargr. The Uthith fleet contained the BatRons, one CruRon, the tanker and a fully-loaded assault carrier; the remaining cruisers comprised the Gireel Fleet with a mission to raid and stir up trouble. Perfect typecasting for the Vargr!

Turn 1

1st & 2nd Assault Fleets converge at Jewell
65 Fleet jumps to Esalin
15th Colonial jumps to Whenge
14th Colonial jumps to Atsa

Uthith Fleet jumps to Dentus
Gireel Fleet jumps to Yorbund

212th Fleet jumps to Feri, picks up Feri corps & squadron
214th Fleet jumps to Lysen
213th Fleet holds at Regina, dispatches scout squadrons on recon

The 214th fleet clears out before the hammer falls on Jewell. The combined assault fleets take pot-shots in passing at the SDBs and ground forces and refuel. 65th Fleet is able to squash opposition at Esalin without problem; a single TL 14 division does the trick. Similarly, the 15th Colonial seizes Whenge. The 14th Colonial picks up the Atsa colonial troops.

The 212th Fleet loads up all the mobile troop units it can carry and heads to Feri to snag some more enroute to hunting the Vargr.

Speaking of the Vargr, the Uthith Fleet drops an entire field army on a single Imperial Marine Regiment, the 3277th, at Dentus - which manages to not only survive, but inflicts casualties! (The dice exercised both ends of the bell curve here - the Vargr rolled a 12, and the Marines a
2.) The two-TL disparity between the TL 15 Marines and the TL 13 Vargr makes the difference. This is one of those small events that can make a big difference in wartime - by holding out, the Marines prevent the Vargr from refuelling in this system with no gas giant.

The Gireel Fleet at Yorbund starts to bomb the defense battalions. However, they're stuck in place - no gas giant, no ground troops to seize the surface, so they can never control the system even if they bomb the defenders into the stone age. Enough fuel is siphoned off to fill a courier and dispatch it to Dentus requesting help from the Uthith Fleet.

Turn 2

1st & 2nd Assault jump to Lysen
65th Fleet refuels at Jewell
15th Colonial refuels at Whenge
14th Colonial jumps to Ninjar

214th Fleet holds at Lysen
212th Fleet jumps to Boughene
213th Fleet holds at Regina

Gireel Fleet holds at Yorbund
Uthith Fleet holds at Dentus

The Zhodani Assault Fleets pop into Lysen and find the 214th Fleet. This is the situation that prompts me to write the "disengagement before combat" rule that permits squadrons who began the turn fueled to jump out before the battle, rather than requiring them to survive a round of combat. The Zhodani drop a division of Jump troops at Lysen to secure it against any Imperial counter-moves. 214th Fleet takes the opportunity to jump out to Grant - unfortunately, square in the Zhodani's path.

The 14th Colonial garrisons Ninjar.

Upon arriving at Boughene, the 212th Fleet learns of the Vargr presence at Dentus. Tallyho! The Feri squadron doesn't have the legs for the jump and is left to garrison Boughene.

The 3277th Marines finally succumb under a pile fo furry bodies, but manage to inflict a total of 20% casualties on the Vargr 101 field army before going down. Yes, the Vargr outnubmered the Imperials 100:1 at the outset, and suffered 20 casualties for every Imperial killed... But this allows the Vargr to start refuelling on Turn 3. At Yorbund, the Vargr continue to bomb the hapless defense battalions.

Turn 3

1st & 2nd Assault Fleets jump to Grant
65th Fleet jumps to Jewell
14th Colonial jumps to Quar
15th Colonial jumps to Nerewhon

Uthith Fleet refuels at Dentus
Gireel Fleet holds at Yorbund

212th Fleet jumps to Dentus
214th Fleet holds at Grant
213th Fleet holds at Regina

Space combat!

214th Fleet gets a live-fire demonstration, courtesy the Zhodani Consular Navy. The Zhos inflict 11 damage points on the Imperial Force inflicting 1 point on the Zhodani - hardly a worthwile exchange! The Jewell BatRon and CruRon are destroyed; the remaining IN CruRon and a scout squadron on patrol from Regina disengage by jumping to Forboldn.

Meanwhile, a much more equitable battle occurs at Dentus. The Imperials have three BatRons, two CruRons and the Assault Carrier. The Vargr have two BatRons, a CruRon, the tankers and the assault carrier. The battle goes for several rounds, but in the end the Vargr evacuate their field army from the planet and leave a division to hold. The losses in space are pretty equal - the Vargr lose the tanker and the CruRon, while the Imperials lose both CruRons. The Vargr disengage to Yorbund to rescue their beleagured Gireel fleet. The Imperials extract revenge by landing the 437th Armored Cavalry Corps which expunges the TL-12 Vargr cavalry
division* effortlessly.

* What sort of mounts does a non-armored Vargr cavalry unit use, anyway? Ponis?

[Sidebar - seems to me this would make a neat Power Projection: Fleet scenario. Anyone have some suitable Vargr ship stats?]

The 65th Fleet begins the reduction of Jewell - but the commander first leaves his assualt carrier with it's loaded troops at Esalin. A risky move, because if the 214th Fleet had chosen to duck away from the Assault fleets and dance around the cluster, they could have whacked a large number of Zhodani for free.

The SDBs are engaged and damaged, but not destroyed. Surface bombardment begins in earnest. The commander of the 65th orders his forces to continue reducing the defenses, boards a cruiser and jumps back to Esalin to collect his ground troops.

15th Colonial grabs Nerewhon. The 14th Colonial attacks Quar and seizes the surface, but the lone SDB escapes destruction.

Turn 4

1st & 2nd Assault jump to Efate
65th Fleet - fleet at Jewell, commander to Esalin
15th Colonial refuells at Nerewhon
14th Colonial holds at Quar

Uthith and Gireel Fleets at Yorbund


212th Fleet refuels at Dentus
213th Fleet holds at Regina
214th Fleet refuels at Forboldn

The 14th Colonial can't manage to take out the SDB at Quar, try as they might.

The Zhodani Assault Fleets arrive at Efate. The SDBs are passive but take damage. Per instructions, the Ine Givar switch to overt mode. The Zhos bomb the defense battalions, inflicting 40% casualties and then land EVERY SINGLE GROUND UNIT. I think the planet's orbit is shifted.

The defenders die, but die hard, taking out the Zhodani 2nd Guards Division and damaging the Zhodani 4th Guards. (The Imperial CINC had issued standing orders making Guards units priority targets, with elite forces right behind. A good move IMHO since these units can't be
replaced.) The Zhodani control the surface but don't control the system yet.

The 65th Fleet elements at Jewell destroy the SDBs and continue bombing the surface units. Gee, if they had brought their assault carrier with them, they could land troops!

The Vargr seize Yorbund.

Turn 5

1st & 2nd Assault hold at Efate
65th Fleet continues to reduce Jewell
14th Colonial holds at Quar
15th Colonial jumps to Algebaster

Combined fleets refuel at Yorbund

212th Fleet jumps to Balent
213th Fleet holds at Regina
214th Fleet jumps to Regina

The Zhodani assault fleets continue hammering the Efate SDBs.

The 65th Fleet forces all but wipe out the Jewell ground forces, taking some losses in return.

Meanwhile, 212th Fleet capitalizes on information from Vargr prisoners and attacks the troop concentration at Balent. A major surface fight begins.

The 213th and 214th Fleets learn of the Vargr incursion and that 212th Fleet is responding. They also get the first word of Zhodani forces in Vilis subsector at Frenzie which tentatively names the attackers as the 68th Fleet. The same turn a message arrives from Denotam which doesn't identify the fleet, but it happens to be the same 68th Fleet arriving at that system; the impact of the astrography of the region on message traffic!

The 14th Colonial manages to take out the SDB at Quar and prepares to continue it's push to Regina.

- To be continued in Part 5 -
John Appel
Homebrew TU Heretic
Somewhere in MD, USA
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