Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Battle Report: The Third Battle of Arcadia Prime

For months now, the Eldar forces of the surface of Arcadia Prime had been struggling to evade battle and avoid annihilation while they waited for a relief force to arrive in orbit and extract them. The Eldar formed a large fleet and arranged a surprise attacks on the Imperial Forces guarding Arcadia Prime. If the Eldar succeeded in neutralizing or driving off the Imperial Fleet, their transports could move in to extract the Eldar ground forces, if not, the Eldar on the ground were effectively lost.

Imperial Forces: Darkwing
Eldar Forces: Tyrant
The Fleets
Imperial Arcadian Forces (Task Force 41) (w/Admiral 125pts)Points
Emperor Class Battleship (BB-1 Vengeance) 345
Mars Class Cruiser (CAV-5 Attica)270
Gothic Class Cruiser (CA-24 Altair)180
Lunar Class Cruiser (CA-25 Aldebaran)180
Tyrant Class Cruiser (CA-38 Alnilam)185
3 Sword Class Frigates (FF-110 Pandora, FF-111 Epimetheus, FF-112 Janus)105
3 Sword Class Frigates (FF-113 Mimas, FF-114 Enceladus, FF-115 Tethys)105
3 Firestorm Class Frigates (FFL-26 Corona Australis, FFL-32 Delphinus, FFL-45 Lacerta) 120
3 Firestorm Class Frigates (FFL-46 Leo, FFL-47 Leo Minor, FFL-48 Lepus)120
4 Cobra Class Destroyers (DDG-33 Polyhymnia, DDG-36 Atalante, DDG-69 Hesperia, DDG-70 Panopaea)120
4 Cobra Class Destroyers (DDG-71 Niobe, DDG-72 Feronia, DDG-73 Klytia, DDG-74 Galatea)120
Total Points:1975
Eldar Pirate Forces (w/Pirate Prince 200pts)Points
Void Stalker Class Battleship (Aion) with Torpedo Bombers440
Eclipse Class Cruiser250
Shadow Class Cruiser210
3 Aconite Class Frigates 195
3 Aconite Class Frigates195
2 Hellebore Class Frigates150
3 Hemlock Class Destroyers120
6 Nightshade Class Destroyers 240
Total Points:2000
Turn 1
The Eldar Fleet arrives, the Sword Alert Squadron in the background
A squadron of three Sword Class Frigates were on alert status in high orbit around Arcadia Prime, with the the rest of the task force on stanbdy when the Eldar Fleet began their attack. The Eldar concentrated their force with all their ships approaching the starboard side of the Emperor Class Battleship Vengeance. A Shadow Class Cruiser and 3 Aconite Class Frigates broke off to deal with the alert squadron. In the center were the Void Stalker Aion, a squadron of 6 Nightshade Destroyers and Hemlocks, and on the Eldar right flank were the Eclipse Class Cruiser, 3 more Aconites, and 2 Hellebore Class Frigates.

The Aconites and the Shadow opened fire with their prow batteries on the Swords, destroying the Tethys and the Enceladus, and downing the shields of the Mimas. The Void Stalker launched four squadrons of fighters, while the Eclipse launched four squadrons of bombers. The Nightshades and Hellebores launched waves of torpedoes towards the Imperial ships.

Half the Imperial vessels reacted to the alarm, their drives flaring as they climbed into higher orbits. The last survivor of the Sword Squadron, the Mimas, set a course directly in front of the Void Stalker and opened up with its batteries at point blank range, getting several hits and damaging the Aion. The Gothic Class Cruiser Altair opened fire with its starboard lances, destroying a Hemlock Destoyer. The Vengeance fired its massed batteries, destroying two Nightshades and one Hellebore. A squadron of Firestorms fired their lances at a squadron of Aconites, but the Aconites were saved by their holo-fields.

The Mars Class Battlecruiser Attica launched four squadrons of fighters, while the Vengeance launched two waves of two squadrons of fighters and two squadrons of bombers. The Eldar torpedo salvos began to plow into the Imperial fleet. A salvo hit one of the squadrons of Cobra Class Destroyers, destroying the Polyhymnia and Atalante, while others continued on to damage the Tyrant Class Cruiser Alnilam. A large salvo smashed into the starboard side of the Vengeance, dealing heavy damage, while the remainder passed on and again damaged the Alnilam beyond. Eldar fighters converged on one of the attack waves from the Vengeance, scattering them, while the Eldar Bombers closed in on the Vengeance.
The Eldar Fleet moves to evade the incoming Imperial bombers and torpedoes
Turn 2
The Eldar fleet reloaded their ordnance, and most of the Eldar fleet closed the distance to slug it out with the Imperial ships before they could organize. The Shadow and the Void Stalker opened up on the Altair, crippling her, destroying her torpedo tubes and damaging her thrusters. The Void Stalker fired its pulsars against the Lunar Class Cruiser Aldebaran, downing its shields. The Eclipse fired its pulsars on the Altair, damaging it further. The Eldar Bomber waves attacked the Vengeance and the Alnilam, but the Imperial gunners fought them off, and the two ships survived the attack unscathed. The Hemlocks fired their pulsars on the Vengeance, dealing it two hits. A wave of Eldar torpedoes hit a second squadron of Sword Class Frigates, destroyed all three vessels. The majority of the Eldar fleet maneuvered to the left of the planet, putting some distance between them and the Imperial vessels.

A squadron of Cobras came on alert, while those Imperial ships capable of it attempted to maneuver to firing positions. The Vengeance's batteries destroyed an Aconite Frigate, while the Aldebaran destroyed a Hemlock. The remainder of the fire from the Imperial ships, mostly lance fire, was foiled by the holo-fields of the Eldar vessels.

The Imperial Fleet struggles to evade attack as the ships come online
Turn 3
After repositioning, the Eldar again turned into to face the Imperial Fleet, massing at close range for the attack. The Void Stalker damaged the Attica, damaging her portside armament. The Shadow opened fire on a Firestorm Squadron, destroying both the Leo and the Lepus. The Aconites on the left flank downed the shields of the Aldebaran, and then damaged her hull. A torpedo salvo then hit the Aldebaran, crippling her and smashing her bridge. Eldar bombers swarmed around the isolated Sword Frigate Mimas and the Cobra Destroyer Niobe, destroying them both. In response, Imperial Navy Starhawk bombers destroyed two Aconites.

Far on the Eldar right, a lone Hellebore was being chased by a pair of Cobras and a pair of Firestorms, but was able to evade all their fire. Fire from the Imperial Cruisers, two of them crippled, was equally ineffective. The Vengeance and Attica then both launched waves of bombers. The Attica's bombers did not have far to go, and hit the Void Stalker, crippling it. A rogue salvo of torpedos collided with Arcadia Prime itself, causing death and destruction on the planet's surface. Eldar Darkstar bombers from the Aion then swarmed around the Attica, crippling her. Despite this additional damage, the Attica succeeded in repairing her port armament.

The Eldar Fleet maneuvers to make another attack run
Turn 4
The Shadow closed in to finish off the Attica, while the Void Stalker broke off, heading towards Arcadia Prime, and the still on standby Tyrant Class Cruiser Alnilam. A squadron of Aconites joined the Void Stalker, soaring past Arcadia Prime, and opening fire on the Alnilam. Their combined fire crippled the ship, but did not destroy it. The lone Hellebore Class Frigate, being attacked by four imperial escorts, moved to even the odds by destroying both Cobra Class Destroyers attacking it. Squadrons of imperial Starhawk bombers attacked the Aconite Squadron near Arcadia Prime, destroying all three ships.

Finally, the Alnilam came online to full alert and powered ahead, lining up to rake the Void Stalker from stem to stern. Its fire damaged the Void Stalker severely, enough for the Vengeance to put her out of action with his port broadside. The Void Stalker became a drifting hulk. On the far right, the two Firestorms missed the Hellebore with their lances, but succeeded in killing the Hellebore with their weapon batteries.

Turn 5
The Shadow stayed with the Attica, pounding her again with its prow batteries. The Attica could not withstand the attack, and was reduced to a drifting hulk. The Eclipse and various escorts closed on the crippled Altair and Aldebaran, and bombers from the Eclipse put the Aldebaran out of action, while the Altair fought on.
The Aion makes her attack run on the still defenseless Alnilam with the Vengeance in the background
Turn 6
The Eclipse rearmed its bombers, preparing to fight again. The Shadow, after having taken out the Attica, moved to avenge the Aion, and proceeded to reduce the Alnilam to a drifting hulk. The Vengeance opened fire on the Eclipse, severely damaging its prow armament.

Turn 7

The Nightshade destroyers attacked the Altair, which could not fight them off and became a drifting hulk.

The Eclipse and Shadow both converged on the primary threat this point, the Vengeance. Bombers from the Eclipse took out the two remaining Firestorms, the Corona Australis and the Delphinus. The Vengeance continued to be damaged by the Eldar fire, but the huge vessel weathered the Eldar attacks. Bombers from the Vengeance attacked both Eldar cruisers. The Eclipse was crippled, and its mast lines were severed. The Shadow suffered several hits, and its holo-fields were destroyed. The Vengeance turned to starboard, and fired a broadside into the Shadow, causing a Plasma Drive overload which destroyed the vessel in a ball of light. The Eclipse repaired its damaged prow batteries and stayed with the Vengeance.


The Eclipse and various escorts move to finish off the Altair and Aldebaran
At this point, the only Imperial ship left was the Vengeance, and she was crippled. The Eldar survivors were the crippled Eclipse, and four Nightshade Class Destroyers. The Vengeance, clearly preoccupied with the Eldar vessels still in action, was in no position to prevent the Eldar transports from approaching the planet and effecting their rescue. The Eldar would likely succeed in extracting their troops, but at a high cost, to both the Imperials and the Eldar.

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