It’s been a good while since I last had a game and thought I’d warm up the old dice and take my newest FSA ships out for a spin – the Rense System Navy. I played solo and played small as I didn’t have a lot of time. I also wanted to see how the game played with no fleet restrictions as I have in my head a campaign based around FSA stats and rules but with different (cheaper) models. The background was that a small Dindrenzi group had ambushed a RSN patrol and were looking for solid victory. The RSN patrol were expecting a fight and so were fielding a cruiser group. The Dindrenzi on the other hand were haphazardly thrown together, mostly frigates with destroyer support.
1 Cataphract Battlecruiser – DNS Tiberian Charge
2 Trident Destroyers – DNS’s Vanguard Spirit and Vanguard Spear
3 lots of 3 Thraex Frigates – Squadrons Whirlwind, Proteus and Thunder
2 Cerberus Heavy Cruisers – RNV’s Brood and Solar Howl
3 Shrike Cruisers – RNV’s Regulan, Cedic and Kashan
4 Bulwark Frigates – Squadron Ashton
Deployment – The Dindrenzi deployed a Whirlwind to threaten the RSN and to keep them challenged whilst the rest of the fleet moved into a better firing position, but also hoping to goad them into hitting an “easy” target – DNS Tiberian Charge – the commander placed his 2 destroyers, with escort, in reserve, hoping that by the time they had cleared the gas cloud they would be in a good position to finish the RSN.
The RSN, however, knew they would be fighting an up hill battle. They too placed a squadron to swing past a gas cloud for a better position. Ultimately they didn’t have a lot of choice and knew they had to take out or disable the Tiberian Charge to survive the fight.
Turn 1 – The Dindrenzi seize the initiative and inflict some worrying loses on the RSN. The Shrike cruisers failed to get a decent lock on Whirlwind Squadron and their return fire severely crippled the RNV Regulan with kinetic and torpedo volleys. Fire quickly spread in the bow quarters of the ship and many crew died before and fire suppression systems activated.
The Tiberian Charge showed the rest of the fleet how “it was done” and used its dual kinetic guns to rip apart 2 Bulwark frigates in one volley. Undeterred, the remaining Ashton Squadron continued to advance. The RSN commander, however, was not feeling especially confident at this point.
Turn 2 – Hoping to swiftly end one frigate threat, the RNV cruisers split their fire amongst Whirlwind Squadron with mixed results. The frigates returned fire, however, and finished off the Regulan. Ashton Squadron quickly picked up the slack on the hurting cruisers and did a sterling job of removing 2 from Whirlwinds numbers.
Acting quickly, fearing the Tiberian Charge’s main guns, RNV’s Brood and Solar Howl targeted the fire control systems of the battlecruiser and successfully knocked them out, leaving the Dindrenzi flagship unable to respond. They didn’t rest there though as the heavy cruiser pair broadsided the remaining Whirlwind frigate and rendered it to debris.
Dindrenzi frigates of Proteus Squadron advanced to try to buy time for the Tiberian Charge to repair herself and eliminated one Bulwark frigate.
The RSN commander would have breathed easy if it were not for sensor blips emerging from a distant gas cloud.
The Dindrenzi commander could do nothing but furiously order and berate his crew whilst they repaired their ship.
Turn 3 – The angry gesturing and threats seemed to have worked, however, as now the Tiberian Charge was repaired. She trained her guns on the closest heavy cruiser – the RNV Brood – and fired, but there were still problems with the fire controls and the volleys missed their target. The commander was not impressed.
The RSN commander was spurred on at the surviving slow long against a most dangerous foe. He ordered both the Brood and Solar Howl to fire everything in the hopes of crippling the battlecruiser, and it worked! Fires raged throughout the Tiberian Charge, bulkheads buckled, power fluctuated and weapons systems degraded. How so many crew survived the assault was a miracle.
It wasn’t without answer though as the Dindrenzi reinforcements finally emerged and blew apart the RNV Brood.
The situation looked bleak for both sides at this point. The RSN had lost their commander and looked outgunned and outnumbered. The Dindrenzi flagship was ablaze and the reinforcements arrived too late.
Turn 4 – In return for the death of their commander, the RNV Solar Howl dutifully kills the Dindrenzi commander. He then orders “All hands, brace, brace” in anticipation of the Dindrenzi onslaught from the destroyers, but none came. The expanding debris field of the RNV Brood deflected a good number of the shots.
The only other casualty was the remaining Bulwark frigate which was lost to torpedo fire from Thunder Squadron.
Strange energy from an unknown source caused a temporary communications blackout. No sensors readings were received.
Turn 5 – The Dindrenzi had better success once they retrained their guns, scoring damage on the Solar Howl and Kashan, severely damaging her engines. It was the shorter range of the RSN ships that left them exposed and they failed to respond with any significant effect. Once again, it looked as if all was lost for the RSN fleet. In light of this the Cedic and Kashan advanced as quickly as they could, even to the point of disobeying formation orders.
Turn 6 – The range closed, the Solar Howl unleashes devastation on the Dindrenzi, obliterating the Vanguard Spear and lightly damaging 2 frigates. This left the 2 cruisers, now reformed, to follow up on that success, but damage and battlefield debris hampered their targeting sensors. Weapons fire wasn’t their primary aim however, as they launched a swift and highly efficient boarding action capturing an enemy frigate.
Epilogue – In the face of such devastating loses the Dindrenzi withdrew from the field, tail between their legs. The senior Captain would have a difficult time explaining the events.
The RSN, however, were more than satisfied with the results. Turning a desperate situation into a very successful victory will surely propel the Captain of the Solar Howl through his career – even if he knows all too well that he got bloody lucky!
The prized frigate, albeit small, will undoubtedly find its way into clandestine hands…