# of players: 4-6
Forces - FSE:
The ESU are ready for combat, and may fire the turn the FSE fire. However, as the FSE are initiating this clash, the FSE side may fire 2 ships before the ESU may respond. SM fire does not count for this; only beam/direct-fire weapons.
If the FSE do not engage the ESU ships by Turn 5, the ESU ships will have received orders to 'teach the uppity FSE a lesson', and are released from the above combat restrictions.
The FSE do not have Extended-Range SMs available on their ships for this engagement.
The Hangor has replaced its Class-3 battery with an ADFC and four PDS'. It is a real Escort ship.
The ESU ships may not set up closer than 3 mu from each other, and may set up no closer to the center of the playing field than 1/2 of the way between their side of the field and the middle. The FSE ships may set up any way they desire, but no closer to the middle of the playing field than the ESU ships.
It is recommended you use a 4'x6' playing area, but also use a floating map.
The starting speeds of the ships may be upwards of 3x the Thrust Rating of the slowest ship in the fleet.
The ESU 'show of force' met the FSE skirmishers and the two sides stood off for a brief while. To the ESU it wasn't clear if the unpredictable FSEers would back down, or if they would initiate something, so the ships were kept at General Quarters. However, even when one is at General Quarters, generally if the other side wants to initiate combat, they'll catch the ready defenders off-guard for just a moment. And for the FSE, that's all they wanted...
The two fleets were travelling parallel and abreast of one another, approximately 22 mu apart. Suddenly the FSE volleyed off a number of salvo missiles, accelerated, and turned their ships to put themselves on an intercept course with the ESU. The ESU were momentarily taken by surprise, and ran smack into the cloud of salvo missiles., although the Beijing/B escort cruiser Hangor had her point defense systems online, ready to rock'n'roll. This she did.
The FSE fleet fired off 9 salvos of missiles at the ESU task force. The destroyer Kopeysk was targetted by one salvo, of which 3 missiles locked on (and being unstopped, gutted the Kopeysk). The light cruiser Mongolia had 4 salvos track in on her, the battlecruiser Dzungaria had 3 salvos track in on her, and the Hangor only had one salvo track in on her. Unable to protect everyone, the Hangor chose to divide her defenses up between herself and the Dzungaria. Her point-defense systems went into overdrive as she knocked down 2 of the 4 missiles targetting her, and 9 of the 10 missiles targetting the Dzungaria. These two ships suffer only minor damage. The Mongolia, however, is not as lucky. 22 missiles track in on her, of which 2 are stopped by her point-defense. The remaining 20 missiles obliterate the Mongolia. None of her crew get out alive.
As the first ships died, the FSE fleet opened up with long-range (for them) beam battery fire on the remaining ESU vessels. The battleship Napoli and heavy cruiser Marseilles fired on the light cruiser Singapore and escort cruiser Hangor respectively, causing moderate and light damage, before the stunned defenders could respond. Weapons fire that was then exchanged resulted in most ships doing minimal to light damage to one another other, if any at all. The FSE light cruiser Jose' Morales suffered the most, with accumulated ESU fire shorting out her starboard Class-2 battery and salvo missile launcher. The Jose' Morales attempts to repair the salvo launcher, but with no success. The Napoli takes light damage, as does the ESU destroyer Cervena.
The FSE plant another spread of salvo missiles in front and a little to the starboard of the ESU fleet, assuming the ESU is going to turn in to engage the FSE ships. They did not expect the ESU to suddenly slam on the brakes and only turn a little in on the FSE group. Unfortunately for the ESU the two remaining destroyers end up in the middle of this new cloud of salvo missiles, and the Hangor is too far away to help. The Cervena is locked onto by 20 salvo missiles. 1 is stopped. Like the Mongolia earlier, the Cervena simply ceases to be. All hands lost. The Solin becomes the recipient of 4 salvo missiles, but her point defense crew is on the ball as they shoot down each and every missile tracking in on her.
Unfortunately for the FSE they did not alter their course or speed, and the ESU heavy cruiser Ulyanov planted her two salvo missile packs right in the path of the FSE battlecruiser Dunkirk. The Dunkirk ate 4 out of 6 incoming missiles, causing massive structural damage to the ship, with the catastrophic repercussions taking out each and EVERY system except one fire control and the screens. She became, effectively, a 'mission kill'.
More weapons fire is exchanged by the two sides, with each side being at basically 'point blank' range. The Jose' Morales' is utterly destroyed by fire from all of the Dzungaria's batteries. A bare handful of her personnel manage to escape the conflagration. The FSE light cruiser Chardin, previously undamaged, suffers massive fire from the battlecruiser Rurikid, and blows up. No crew escape. More fire from the ESU either lightly dents the Napoli or heavily damages the super destroyer St Michelles, who took light damage earlier. The St Michelles loses a fire control system and the PDS suite. Not having any tracking systems to fire her weapons, she does not reply in kind.
Now while the FSE took some hard hits in this exchange, they gave almost as good as they got. The Dzungaria suffers critical damage, losing her FTL, screens, one Class-3 heavy battery, one PDS suite, and one fire control system, as well as her drives being partially damaged. The Hangor barely takes moderate damage, losing one PDS suite and her engines output drops by 50%. Repair crews on both the FSE and ESU ships work fervently to get systems back online, but only the Hangor and the Dunkirk manage to successfully restore their main drives to full once again.
The two forces continue to close with one another (except for the FSE ships Dunkirk and St Michelles, who accelerated away at full thrust in order to escape the carnage being wrought out). The three remaining FSE ships find themselves in the midst of the half-damaged ESU task force. The Napoli ends up directly behind the Dzungaria, and directly in front of the Singapore, while the port side of the Ulyanov is directly before the Napoli. The Solin is now behind the Napoli. Looks bad for the Napoli. The Marseilles and San Marco find themselves in the forward port quarter of the Rurikid - not exactly the best of places when going against a fresh battlecruiser. With the FSE mostly out of salvo missiles (the Napoli forgot to fire her last rounds), it's now a beam weapon slugging match, and the ESU have the upper hand.
The Rurikid opens up on the Marseilles with all beam weaponry available, but as an after thought allows it's two point defense laser systems to shoot at the San Marco, scoring a hit. And while minor damage, any hit is better than none. Especially if dealt to the FSE.
The Marseilles takes a beating, and she loses half her thrust, her FTL drive, as well as a fire control center. Her hull is scored over and over by bolts from the Rurikid, and many of her crew die quickly. She returns fire on the Rurikid, but as she has fewer and smaller weapons, and because the Rurikid is so much larger, her damage is a little more than half that of what the Rurikid did to her. The Rurikid shrugs it off.
The Napoli unloads everything she has on the Ulyanov, heavily damaging the ship, and causing one Class-3 heavy battery, two of the medium Class-2 batteries, a fire control system, and the screens to go offline. In return the Napoli is the target of everyone else, and while she takes moderate structural damage, a lot of her internal systems are knocked out, as she loses 3 of her Class-2 main batteries, one of her Class-1 secondary batteries, one of the two salvo missile launchers, the missile rack itself, and her screens.
Repair crews continued their valiant efforts, but only the Marseilles were successful, and got their FTL drive back up once again.
At this point the FSE decide it's the better part of valor to leave the system. The issues they came here for are, as far as the FSE is concerned, not really resolved. The ESU are pissed that so many of their crews were killed in this 'skirmish' ("if only the FSE would have been reasonable about things, none of this would have had to happen!"). In the end it was a victory for the ESU, but it came at a cost they did not want, and could not afford, especially with the Third Solar War in full swing. Time will tell if this will have an affect on the war effort or not.