The Capture of the Darkstar

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The Capture of the Darkstar

Postby Theblackdog » Sat Jun 11, 2011 3:14 pm

CLASSIFIED: FOR ADMIRALTY EYES ONLY

Warhead wrote:
Communiqué to Admiral BlackDog of the Blue from Grand Admiral Cromwell of the Black wrote:I suggest you gather as many fast raider class ships as you can spare without endangering the security of the territories that you hold. With this fleet, launch a foray against the system in a bid to seize or destroy this prototype before it has had a chance to finish construction. Any ship building infrastructure found at site that can not be held or removed before a Scythian reaction force arrives must be destroyed prior to withdrawing your fleet. Good luck and good hunting Admiral. For the Queen!


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Admiral's log: At 1100 hours today, our fleet sighted the experimental Scythian Darkstar-class battlecruiser. It is currently being escorted by two frigates, one of which appears to be a fighter carrier. This presents an additional difficulty in our plan, since the frigates, and presumably their fighters, carry light laser cannons accurate enough to shoot down our boarding pods. No matter. For Queen and country, we will push on like Bonn-o-Tron.

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Because of the importance of this mission I have chosen to lead personally from my own spacecraft. Our force consists of my ship, two gunboats, and a Q-ship which will be providing missile and fighter support as well as carrying our boarding pods.

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With all of our royal marines called up to fight against the ASE, I was forced to choose from among a few ragtag volunteers to form the away team that will capture the ship. Two midshipmen were eager to join the fight, and I issued them pistols and cutlasses, always useful weapons in a boarding assault. In a stroke of luck, Captain Harris himself has chosen to leave his well-earned retirement to show them the ropes, and one of our weapons factories has been able to make a copy of the rotary muskets used by the Colonial brigades for him. Brutus, leader of my personal security detail, has joined them with his trusty plasma blunderbuss. Though they lack the spit and polish of our Royal Marines, I have no doubt that they will acquit themselves well once we board the ship.

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Our final warp jump is complete, and the enemy fleet lies ahead.

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The Q-ship breaks right with one gunboat accompanying it. Blackdog takes the other gunboat and breaks left.

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The Scythian ships accelerate straight ahead, the small frigate firing its afterburners to close with the Q-ship and its escort. The big ship holds back. "Admiral? We're getting strong energy readings from the battlecruiser, but nothing's happening."
"I see it. They must be charging... something. Stay alert."

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The Q-ship fires a missile at the fighters, but it misses. It also launches a torpedo towards the Scythian fleet.

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Knowing that the Q-ship's survival is vital to their plan, its gunboat escort sheds velocity to put itself directly between the incoming fighters and the Q-ship. "All guns, stand by to fire!"

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Blackdog and his frigate continue maneuvering for their attack on the fighter carrier.

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The fighter carrier speeds up to avoid the incoming torpedo and strike at Blackdog's ship. Its attacks miss, and it takes a point of damage from response fire.

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The fighter squadron decides that the Q-ship is too difficult a target with the gunboat blocking their paths, and go after blackdog and his gunboat instead. A lucky response shot from the gunboat takes out the squadron leader, putting the squadron in disarray and causing their attacks to miss.

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The light frigate exchanges fire with the gunboat and Q-ship but neither side does damage to the other.

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Finally, the Darkstar decides to enter the fray...

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...and tears the frigate apart in a single outsized volley! "Bloody hell! How can its guns fire that fast!?"

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The torpedo hits the Scythian fighter carrier, doing another point of damage.

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The gunboat kills a fighter, and does two points of damage to the light frigate...

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...and the Q-ship finishes it off with a missile.

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Blackdog goes after the fighter carrier with little luck.

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The fighter carrier drifts clear of the Darkstar's path, allowing it a clear shot at the other gunboat.

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Blackdog kills the fighter carrier.

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"Bloody 'ell, we're getting rogered out here! Launch everything we've got!" The Q-ship fires off a missile, a torpedo, a boarding pod and all three fighters. The boarding pods each have a teleport receiver, so when one of them docks with the ship the away team can instantly be transported aboard.

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The fighters kill the last Scythian fightercraft. With no target left, the torpedo self-destructs.

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The Darkstar concentrates all its firepower on the boarding pod. Despite the inaccuracy of its heavy guns, one shot still hits and destroys the pod. "Ah well, there's two more where that came from."

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The Q-ship comes dangerously close to the battlecruiser, and manages to hit it with a boarding pod before its batteries can react. With the away team on board the ship and no other threats in sight, the action shifts to the battle to take the bridge.

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The bridge crew are sitting at their consoles when...

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"In the name of God, Country, the Queen, and my totally awesome hat, I claim this vessel for the Britannian Empire! Surrender, bitches."

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"NEVAR!"

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One crewman with particularly fast reflexes gets a shot from his SMG off before Harris can react, and wounds him.

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Harris responds by mowing down another crewman.

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"All right, chaps, here's the plan..."

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"You two, go left, try to catch those two crewmen unawares from the sides."

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"Brutus, you head for the stairs and do something about the blighter on the upper walkway."

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The shotgunner fires down at the two midshipmen, but misses both of them.

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One of the crewmen attacks them from the front, and kills one...

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...before being shot himself.

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The other crewman kills Brutus; his chain mail spacesuit didn't help him at all.

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Captain Harris comes around the stairwell and attacks him with his rotary musket, but both of his attempts fail. "Bloody modern engineering! They just don't build these things like they used to!"

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I'm not gonna keep taking pictures when there's no action happening... but for your information, these guys spent every turn until the end of the battle shooting at one another... and missing. Every damn time.

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Dissatisfied with the newfangled rotary musket, Harris picks up Brutus' blunderbuss instead and charges the SMG crewman, killing him at close range.

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On the next turn, he manages to get to the top of the stairs but can't get close enough to the shotgunner to use the annoyingly short-ranged musket. "When I was a lad," he tells himself, "I could shoot a bird out of the air from two hundred paces with one eye closed. Let's see if I've still --" Nope. He fails the stupendous feat roll by 1, incurring no consequences but he's still unable to make the shot at longer-than-usual range.

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The shotgunner finally kills the last midshipman.

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And then gets blasted off the walkway at short range by Captain Harris. Still totally worth it.

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"Admiral, Captain Harris here. We're ready to enter warp at your leisure."

Communique from Admiral Blackdog of the Blue to High Lord Grand Admiral Cromwell:

Lord Admiral, we have captured the Scythian battlecruiser as ordered and returned it to Blue Sector headquarters. The Scythian border has been quiet, but I do not know whether they are unwilling to retaliate for fear of revealing their new battlecruiser to other factions, or if they are planning something in the future. Our casualties in the raid consisted of two gunboats, lost with all hands, and two midshipmen who were killed boarding the Darkstar. I am submitting a formal request that the captains of both gunboats be knighted posthumously for their courage in battle. They placed their vessels directly in harm's way so that the Q-ship and her boarding party could complete the mission.

As I speculated, the Darkstar-Class battlecruiser does contain an extremely large Anti-Matter reactor. Surprisingly, it also contained an enormous bank of capacitors. When these capacitors are fully charged, its lasers can fire at twice the rate of normal Scythian laser cannons -- as we witnessed in its destruction of the first gunboat. With time we will be able to adapt this technology for our own use, but I should warn you that it might entail some trade-offs in our ship design. In particular, note the Darkstar's lack of point defense, which allowed us to board it easily once its escorts were eliminated -- by fitting it entirely with heavy guns to make the best use of its capacitor banks, its designers made it vulnerable to our attack.
Just one random act of violence can brighten your day. Especially if it involves explosives.

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Postby RunsWithLegos » Sat Jun 11, 2011 3:25 pm

Very cool Battle!

what is with the brick... trails[?] on all the ships?
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Postby Theblackdog » Sat Jun 11, 2011 4:02 pm

I'm using the frictionless movement rules I made for Brikspace, so the trails determine where the ship will end up next turn if it doesn't fire its engines.
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Postby Bragallot » Sat Jun 11, 2011 5:13 pm

Good job on the Brikspace battle, I just finished my second Prussian microspace vessel and might want to do something like this as well, though I'll have to find out the rules first. The fight inside the ship was painful to look at tbh but it wasn't the main thing here.
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He's already dead.
Kill him again.
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Postby Theblackdog » Sat Jun 11, 2011 5:21 pm

Yeah the inside fight kinda sucked. Much less exciting than I thought it would be, even after I refought it. Since this battle was fought on such short notice I had to just rebuild the inside of the fort from TFBS as something like a bridge.

EDIT: Also thanks for the rotary musket design, I think that was yours.
Last edited by Theblackdog on Sat Jun 11, 2011 5:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Warhead » Sat Jun 11, 2011 5:25 pm

Communiqué to Admiral BlackDog of the Blue from High Admiral Cromwell of the Black wrote:
Huzzah! Well done admiral! Well done indeed! The Queen has already heard of you and your crews daring bravery and you will soon be receiving her favour personally, I believe a medal of honour was mentioned.
On reviewing your report I have issued commendations for all crew involved in this action with specific emphasis on the two valient and loyal Captains mentioned plus there will be a blanket promotion for all ratings and enlisted men alike, that includes you too Vice Admiral Blackdog...
A posthumous Knighthood no matter how deserving is out of the question but by allowing a blanket promotion the families of those slain in this engagement will at least have a higher graded pension and those that survived will have been rewarded too. This has been a great morale boost and couldn't have come at a better time for the League.
Rest assured that the Prize Money for the Scythian ship will be paid as soon as it has been sent to Bu-Ships for reverse engineering... Damn fine job, damn fine.


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Postby Theblackdog » Sat Jun 11, 2011 6:59 pm

***TOP PRIORITY COMMUNIQUE FROM: ACTING SECTOR ADMIRAL HARRIS TO: HIGH LORD GRAND ADMIRAL CROMWELL***

Captain Harris wrote:Image
Lord Admiral, this is Captain... er... Acting-Admiral Harris. I have urgent news to report.

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While the remainder of the task force which completed this morning's operation was returning to port with our prize, we observed an unidentified spacecraft performing a flyby at long range.

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Admiral Blackdog immediately ordered his vessel to break formation and pursue the unidentified ship. In a brief transmission he explained that this ship, or one like it, had been seen before, it was probably a recon vessel, and he was worried it would escape with data on the experimental Scythian battlecruiser we captured. Blackdog's ship could match the vessels acceleration but was unable to gain on it. The unknown craft jumped out of the system, and just before following the Admiral sent a transmission that I was in command until he caught the ship and returned home. However, I am to defer to you or any other sector admiral who wishes to take command until his return.

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We have had some good news: an Immortal heavy cruiser and two Vol frigates entered the system today to bolster our defenses. I believe their intentions are to do just that, but I don't entirely trust them -- the captain of the ship, an Immortal who calls himself Caleb, looks a bit shifty, and of course the heathen Vol can't be trusted around civilized folk. I have allowed them to remain in the system but kept them out of scanning range of the Darkstar.

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Finally, here's something I found in Blackdog's Admiralty files, apparently some sort of doodle he was working on before we got our orders to capture the Darkstar. I've got no idea what it means and I'm leaving it for you to figure out -- I don't have the energy to take on any more mysteries today.
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Postby Warhead » Sat Jun 11, 2011 8:33 pm

Whoa!.. that's just awesome. Love the Immortal Ships, and the Vol too. As to what that other vessel is..? Files have been sent on to ONI for assessment.
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Postby enders_shadow » Sat Jun 11, 2011 10:18 pm

Okay Scythians, blast those Brittanians out of the sky! the Immortals must not have that technology! Aside, that scanning ship better do something, it needs to kill some shit :twisted:
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Postby White Nun » Sun Jun 12, 2011 1:32 am

Communiqué to Admiral BlackDog of the Blue from Admiral Stella Maris of the White wrote:

Huzzah! - well done sir! A well fought battle in which every man did his duty. My hearty congratulations on your well earned gong.

That mysterious blighter of a recon ship is worrying though. White Sector patrols shall be increased and a sharp lookout shall be kept for any further sign of this bounder.

The Immortals and the Vol might possess excellent ships, but I applaud your decision to keep a close eye upon these foreign johnnys. The Vol in particular lack for manners and have a poor grasp of basic hygiene. They might be our allies, but they ain't British if you take my meaning.
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Postby Warhead » Sun Jun 12, 2011 4:25 am

That's VICE ADMIRAL to you Admiral Stella Maris :wink: :lol:
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Postby White Nun » Sun Jun 12, 2011 4:28 pm

'Sir!' (click of heels) :wink:
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Postby Jbgarrison » Mon Jun 13, 2011 11:58 pm

This is great!
Hoboman wrote:I forgot for a moment what forum I was on like Bonn-o-Tron.

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Postby morganm » Wed Jun 15, 2011 6:42 pm

What I love most about this is how the micro battles break out into regular scale battles. You've nicely fit the two together!

Favorite line:
"In the name of God, Country, the Queen, and my totally awesome hat, I claim this vessel for the Britannian Empire! Surrender, bitches."
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Postby Theblackdog » Wed Jun 15, 2011 8:23 pm

morganm wrote:What I love most about this is how the micro battles break out into regular scale battles. You've nicely fit the two together!

Favorite line:
"In the name of God, Country, the Queen, and my totally awesome hat, I claim this vessel for the Britannian Empire! Surrender, bitches."


Thanks! The boarding combat is something that just about everyone who plays a microspace game does; you can see it too in Bragallot's forum battle, and in my old Brikspace forum game.

As for that line, that was about the only reason I kept the battle in. The ground/space integration was a good idea but in this case the low numbers and awful die rolls meant things didn't quite work out as I'd hoped.
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