Sunday, March 07, 2010

Battle of Corticant System

With Corticant secured Jellicoe's naval battlegroup under Admiral Dreyer, arrived in the system. Up till now the force, consisting of the battleship Iron Duke, cruisers Glorious, Black Prince, Cressy, Aboukir and Repulse, had not succeeded in tracking down the fleet which must have transported the Chaos raiders to the planet in the previous month. That changed on 0403.010M42, when Dreyer's fleet picked up faint signals from behind the gas giant C7X455 in the Corticant system.

Dreyer formed up the fleet and after a brief game of hide and seek a force of six cruisers, loyal to the Kendrenec warlord Tragean, powered up and closed with Dreyer's formidable fleet. The naval analyticae identified the ships as the slaughter class Doomblade and Reaver, the Hades class Plagueclaw, the Carnage class Dark Omen, the Devastation class Unforgiveable and the Styx class Edematous Maximus. Closing rapidly the Imperial fleet had little time to employ their three nova cannon, but Dreyer made them count, bunching up his fleet in tight formation and crippling then hulking the cruiser Unforgiveable almost before the Chaos fleet had fired a shot.

When the Chaos vessels did open fire the gothic class Aboukir took much of the punishment, being the vessel on Dreyer's extreme right flank, the side which the Chaos lord chose to pass by the Imperial fleet, firing broadsides from Dark Omen and Plagueclaw. At the same time the two slaughter class vessels attempted to outflank the Imperial fleet on Dreyer's left, but despite some skillful evasive manouevres from Doomblade, the ship took the full firepower of the Imperial Battleship and the two dominators. She was rapidly reduced to a drifting hulk.

The combined firepower of the Iron Duke, Repulse and Black Prince decided the outcome of the battle, along with the massed waves of bombers launched from the decks of the Glorious and Dreyer's flagship. Unable to match the Imperium for firepower at close range the Chaos fleet was hammered, losing another vessel, the battlecruiser Edematous Maximus, which blew up with all hands. Dark Omen managed to escape into an asteroid field with the remnants of the Chaos fleets escorts, while the remaining serviceable warships Reaver and Plagueclaw disengaged to lick their wounds.

The Imperium had won a major victory, but during the battle accurate fire from Plagueclaw and enraged bombers from the styx class heavy cruiser had taken their toll on the Imperial vessel. Glorious had taken serious damage and many of her bomber squadrons were forced to land on Iron Duke, who's decks became overcrowded with tired crews from both Imperial carriers. Aboukir meanwhile had been reduced to a drifting wreck, and the Black Prince took severe damage. Even with these losses the Imperial victory ensured the safety of Corticant, for now and enhanced the reputation of Admiral Dreyer. Two Chaos cruisers were towed back to fort Bastion to be decontaminated and used as static fire platforms.

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