Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Battle Report: The Necropolis Campaign, Part Two

The Necropolis Campaign, Part Two
The Battle of Favonia, Part One

With the Imperial Navy's defeat at the Battle of Axis Columen, a massive Necron vessel, the Necropolis, awakened from its slumber under the planet's surface and lifted off. More Necron vessels phased in as others arrived from the depths of space. The massive fleet began to move implacably through the sector, destroying any settlement it came across and harvesting the souls of those who lived there.

While the Imperial Navy floundered desperately to amass another fleet to take on the Necrons, a third race intervened. A force of Eldar from two different craftworlds converged on the Necron fleet. Despite being outnumbered and outgunned, the Eldar made a heroic effort to destroy the Necropolis. In the end they failed, but they did manage to weaken the Necron Fleet somewhat.

After harvesting the souls of the Eldar trapped inside the wreckage of their destroyed vessels, the Necropolis and company continued through the sector, harvesting several more worlds before setting their sights on the planet of Favonia.

Favonia was an Imperial world of little strategic importance to the sector, but it was populated by much of the sector's aristocracy, being a nexus of commerce and leisure for the upper classes of Imperial Society. As such, when the system came under threat, the calls for the Imperial Navy to respond swiftly and decisively were loud and laced with panic. Regardless, the Imperial Navy had had time to amass a task force, including several upgraded vessels, to take on the Necron threat. They would make their stand on the edge of the Favonia system.

Imperial Fleet - Task Force 43
Apocalypse Class Battleship (BB-2 Repulse)365
Arcadia Class Battleship (BB-5 Arcadia)375
Mars Class Battlecruiser (CB-3 Aetolia)270
Armageddon Class Battlecruiser (CB-18 Capella)245
Prometheus Class Carrier (CV-1 Prometheus)340
Scutum Class Cruiser (CG-57 Scutum)180
Lunar Class Cruiser (CA-20 Procyon)180
Lunar Class Cruiser (CA-34 Adhara)180
Gothic Class Cruiser (CA-21 Achernar)180
Gothic Class Cruiser (CA-39 Elnath)180
Tyrant Class Crusier (CA-32 Mimosa)185
Dominator Class Cruiser (CA-62 Warrior)190
Dauntless Class Light Cruiser (CL-52 Constellation)110
Dauntless Class Light Cruiser (CL-53 Thunder Child)110
1st Firestorm Squadron (3 Firestorm Class Frigates, FFL-33 Dorado, FFL-34 Draco, FFL-35 Equuleus)120
2nd Firestorm Squadron (3 Firestorm Class Frigates, FFL-36 Eridanus, FFL-37 Fornax, FFL-38 Gemini)120
1st Sword Squadron (3 Sword Class Frigates, FF-98 Ganymede, FF-99 Callisto, FF-100 Leda)105
2nd Sword Squadron (3 Sword Class Frigates, FF-107 Sinope, FF-146 Triton, FF-147 Nereid)105
1st Cobra Squadron (4 Cobra Class Destroyers, 1 Nemesis Class Destroyer, DD-46 Hestia, DD-47 Aglaja, DD-48 Doris, DD-49 Pales, DD-128 Nemesis)150
2nd Cobra Squadron (4 Cobra Class Destroyers, DD-50 Virginia, DD-51 Nemausa, DD-52 Europa, DD-53 Kalypso)120

Imperial Navy Briefing
The officer corp of Battlefleet Arcadia, while still relatively inexperienced to those of other Imperial Sectors, are starting to wise up with respect to the Necron menace. Now there are surviving captains from previous battles (the Lunar Class Cruiser Elnath and the Tyrant Class Cruiser Mimosa having survived the battle of Axis Columen) and signals intelligence of the battle between the Eldar and the Necrons, the Imperial Navy has come up with a strategy to deal with the Necrons.

As the Eldar learned from their battle with the Necropolis, Necron escorts simply cannot be ignored. The Eldar had tried to focus everything on the Necropolis, and were torn apart by the rest of the fleet. A squadron of five Jackals, for example, packs the punch of a Cairn Class Tombship, and if allowed to roam unchallenged, can wreak devastation upon an Imperial Fleet.

So my strategy in this battle will be as follows: Strip away the Necropolis' defenses by destroying its escorts (that is, all the other Necron ships), then swarm it and destroy it. If I go straight for the Necropolis, I think my fleet will be torn to shreds by the rest of theirs.

Necron Fleet
Cairn Class Tombship550
2 Scythe Class Harvest Ships550
Vulture Class Cruiser300
Shroud Class Light Cruiser155
5 Jackal Class Escorts250
5 Jackal Class Escorts250
4 Dirge Class Escorts200
6 Khopesh Class Ramships240
6 Khopesh Class Ramships240

Necron Briefing
Playing out a "test to destruction" game can be interesting, but it's also somewhat depressing as well. I know that in the end, I will be beaten down and I'll lose the Necropolis - I don't have any illusions to the contrary. Right now it's just a matter of how many Imperial ships I can take with me before the Necropolis is wiped out that's the question.

Unlike fighting the Eldar, my Khopeshes are great for killing escorts, and if used en masse, I can severely cripple a capital ship as well if I hit i right. The question really becomes whether or not I can use a lot of my Necron special rules and my speed to their greatest advantage, or will the confusion of battle and just remembering the correct way to play out the standard BFG rules cloud the issue to the point where I'm not remembering half of what I should be paying attention to? I'm sure I'll make mistakes--but I also think that I'll give Darkwing's fleet, especially his escorts, quite the beating. Unfortunately, it's going to be the massive number of cruisers, especially his new lance-heavy battlecruiser and his "carrier", that I'm going to have to worry about.

The Fleet Engagement Scenario will be used, with the deployment zones enlarged to accommodate the large fleets and available space.
The Imperial Line of Battle

The Necron Line of Battle
The Imperial Line of Battle
The two fleets pass each other
Turn 1
The Imperial Fleet assumed a Cross formation, so as to present its broadside to the Necron Fleet, while the Necrons tried to break through the Imperial Fleet using a wedge. As a result, both fleets passed each other's flank, just out of range of their weapons. The Imperial Capital ships, in line astern, began a simultaneous turn to port, closing the distance to the Necron Forces. Still out of range of most of their weapons, the Apocalyse Battleship Repulse, the Mars Battlecruiser Aetolia and the Dominator Cruiser Warrior all opened fire with their Nova Cannons, aiming for the bulk of the Necron Fleet, but the long range thwarted all three shots and they exploded harmlessly in space. Finally the Aetolia and the Prometheus launched massed waves of bombers.
The Imperial fleet turns to engage
The Necropolis held its course, while the rest of the Necron fleet turned to meet the Imperial fleet head on. The Vulture and the shroud, however, moved ahead of the main Necron fleet in an apparent attempt to outflank the Imperials.
The Necrons move to meet the challenge
One squadron of Khopeshes attempted to go on All Ahead Full orders to ram the Imperial ships, but failed their command check. One squadron of Jackals closed in on Firestorm Squadron 2 and unleashed their Lightning Arcs, destroying the Eridanus and Fornax. The other group of Jackals fired on Cobra Squadron 2, destroying the Virginia and Nemausa. The Silver Scythe continued to pick on the Cobras, destroying the Europa, while the Gold Scythe finished off the Cobras with its Lightning Arc, destroying the Kalypso. The Gold Scythe's particle whip was still ready to fire, however, and it blasted the Firestorm Equuleus out of the sky. The Tombship then assisted the Gold Scythe, finishing off Firestorm Squadron 2, killing the Dorado and Draco.

Finally, the Dirges converged on the cruiser Warrior, knocking down its shields and damaging its hull, nearly crippling her.
The two fleets approach
Turn 2
The Imperial Fleet plunged ahead into the teeth of the Necrons, and let fly with their broadsides. The Prometheus reloaded its ordnance, preparing for the next strike. The Gothic Cruiser Achernar then failed its command check to Lock On. The Apocalypse Class Battleship Repulse fired its lances at the nearby Khopeshes, which then Braced for Impact, but even so one of the Khopeshes was destroyed. The Repulse then took aim with its nova cannon at the Gold Scythe, but the shot missed, instead blowing two Jackals to smithereens. The Warrior fired its own broadside on the Dirges to no effect, but its nova cannon shot also hit Jackals, destroying two more of them. The Aetolia fired its nova cannon, but missed its target, but was able to take out a Khopesh with its dorsal lances.
The two fleets about to clash
Both squadrons of Swords combined their fire on the Khopeshes ahead of them, and accounted for two of the blade-like ships. The Achernar fired its left lance broadside against the Dirges, which responded by Bracing for Impact, but one of the Dirges was destroyed. The Dauntless Light Cruiser Constellation and the Lunar Cruiser Procyon each fired on the second group of Khopeshes, destroying one each. The Dauntless Light Cruiser Thunder Child fired its prow lances at the long Jackals in front of it, killing it.

From standoff range, the Battleship Arcadia swung its three triple-lance turrets to port and aimed at the Gold Scythe, and fired, rocking the vessel with three hits, and damaging its drive system. The Procyon then fired its torpedo salvo at it, damaging it further and crippling it. Cobra Squadron 1 then fired its torpedo salvo at the Jackals ahead, destroying one of the escorts before the salvo was expended.
The Arcadia fires a broadside at the Gold Scythe
The Vulture and Shroud continued their flanking maneuver, as the rest of the Necron forces continued the merge with the Imperial Fleet. Two Khopeshes plowed right into the Prometheus' bomber waves, sacrificing themselves to eliminate the massive strike.

The Dirges and Jackals both converged on the Repulse, which, anticipating the attack, promptly Braced for Impact. The Repulse weathered the fire well, only suffering a single shield failure.
Dirges and Jackals attack the Repulse
The Silver Scythe fired on the Warrior, but only managed to down one of its shields. The Gold Scythe fired on Sword Squadron 1, destroying the Callisto and the Leda.

The Necropolis turned ponderously, beginning the slow sweep which would bring the Soul Harvester to bear upon the Imperial ships. It then fired its particle whip, destroying the Sword Frigate Ganymede.

The Tombship then concentrated its fire on the Gothic Cruiser Achernar, blasting away its shields and riddling it with six hits, crippling it.

The Gold Scythe succeeded in repairing its drives.

Turn 3
The Imperial line of battle began to close on the Tombship, which, seeing it was about to take a lot of punishment, promptly Braced for Impact. The Tyrant Cruiser Mimosa locked on to the Tombship and prepared to fire, but the other Imperial cruisers failed their command checks. The Arcadia, Mimosa, Lunar Cruiser Adhara, Armageddon Battlecruiser Capella, Gothic Cruiser Elnath, and Dauntless Thunder Child all opened fire on the Tombship, and hit it 17 times, but all but three hits were saved by its armor. The ship's sepulchre was damaged as well, but as a whole the Tombship weathered the fire very well.

The Silver Scythe, also preparing to receive a massive barrage, also Braced for Impact. Multiple Imperial ships prepared to fire on the Silver Scythe. The Achernar delivered a single hit with its broadside, and then Sword Squadron 2, the last Firestorm Frigate, the Dauntless Constellation, and Cobra Squadron 1 opened fire on the Scythe, but the Scythe's bracing proved effective, and no further hits were scored.

The Repulse fired its lances at the Dirges, destroying two of them.

The Warrior fired its broadside against the Gold Scythe, delivering a massive four hits, damaging the Scythe's Command Core and disrupting the ship's power flow. The Constellation then fired its prow lances, blasting through the Scythe's armor and detonating its plasma drive, causing the harvest ship to explode. The Constellation was damaged in the blast, and the Tombship was also caught in the explosion, but undamaged.
The Gold Scythe (right) explodes
The Shroud and Vulture continued to move around the Imperial flank. The Silver Scythe plowed forward through the Imperial battle line, while the Necropolis swung its massive prow around, bringing the Repulse and the Warrior within its sights. Sensing the danger, both ships Braced for Impact. The Khopeshes went on All Ahead Full orders, so as to reposition themselves for an attack run on the Imperial rear.

The Soul Harvester fired, blasting at a Sword Frigate, the Warrior, and the Repulse, but miraculously failed to damage any of the ships. The Necropolis then opened fire with its other weapons, crippling the Warrior with its lightning arc and hitting the Achernar hard with its particle whip. The Achernar Braced for Impact, yet despite negating four of the hits, the ship was destroyed anyway and reduced to a drifting hulk. Then the Silver Scythe fired its weapons at the Warrior, blasting through its armor and destroying it, sending it careening through space, ablaze from stem to stern.
The Dominator Class Cruiser Warrior(next to the Scythe) is set ablaze
The Dirges and Jackals swarmed towards the Gothic Cruiser Elnath, downing its shields and delivering a hit. Finally some bombers from the Prometheus made their attack runs on the Khopeshes, destroying two of the four remaining.

The Tombship focused its fire on the Constellation, overwhelming its defenses and rendering it a blazing hulk.

The sheer number of Imperial Capital ships were taking their toll upon the Necron Fleet, but the mighty firepower of the Necron vessels were beginning to make itself felt as well, as one by one the Imperial ships began to die. It would remain to be seen whether the Necropolis would blast its way through the Imperial Fleet and continue its rampage throughout the Arcadia Sector.

Stay tuned for part two of the Battle of Favonia...


suneokun said...

Awesome Batrep fella! Loving the drama of it - very atmospheric. I'd recommend download GIMP2 and doing some photoediting - just playing with the colour curves would make your background blacker and highlight the details - undoing some of the flash effect.

Jason said...

best BFG batrep I've ever read. can't wait for part 2!

Nocturus said...

Outstanding! Can't wait for part 2!!