Monday, April 12, 2010

Battle of the Perseus Run

With Admiral Cornellius and his large warfleet mustering at Farport, and Admiral Dreyer's fleet protecting Corticant, Jellicoe was sorely pressed when Grand Admiral Bova Magnus requested that an even larger force be assembled at the new Imperial base to aid with General Veers' crusade. After much deliberation Jellicoe agreed to move Admiral Beatty's battlegroup to Corticant via the upper perseus reach, now that Admiral Thok seemed to have learnt his lesson. This left the Farport Passage dangerously unguarded and with Thok still at large, not to mention the fleet of Shaidar Haran, which had not been located at Calliden, for weeks, Jellicoe was forced to move more ships from Caitlen Station to protect Imperial convoys.

Jellicoe ordered Rear Admiral Carsdale aboard the refitted Victory class battleship Agamemnon, along with the battlecruiser Dreadnought, the cruisers Redoubtable, Centurion and Agincourt and the light cruiser Achilles, as well as a host of escorts, to make sure the Imperial warp lane remained safe. Carsdale expected weeks of uneventful and fruitless searches for commerce raiders and Thok's faster vessels, such as the Ragnarok, the fast battleship now believed to have undergone a miraculous refit after her near destruction in 09M42. However the rear admiral was mistaken and on 1004.010M42 his astropaths sensed a disturbance in the warp. Carsdale moved his fleet to the uninhabited Pacifus system near the Farport lane but upon exiting the warp there was no sign of the enemy. Realising that Thok may be wary of attacking his fleet Carsdale split his force into five contingents and began a sweep of the outer reaches of the system. With the Imperial fleet now split up, the chaos admiral attacked.

The lunar class Agincourt was the first to detect chaos vessels, three escorts hiding in the upper atmosphere of a gas giant. Rather than attacking she immediately followed Carsdale's plan and fell back towards the flagship. The chaos raiders took the bait and pursued, only to be caught in the violent explosion of Agamemnon's Nova cannon at extreme range. Seeing two of their number vapourised the remaining raider fled. Then appearing from all around the system the Chaos fleet arrived. The battleship Mjolnir and two devastations directly in front of Agamemnon and Dreadnought, now joined by Agincourt, and on the Imperial contingent's starboard the carnage class Queen Hel and Hades class Wyrmfire appeared on a parallel course, trading broadsides with the Imperial vessels.

Initially outnumbered Admiral Carsdale was undisturbed. With the devastations and the chaos battleship still out of range the battleship Agamemnon and the overlord class Dreadnought traded blows with Queen Hel and Wyrmfire. It was an uneven contest and soon the carnage class cruiser was a wreck, her engines barely functioning and her guns out of action. Seeing this and realising the duel could only end with the destruction of both chaos vessels, and with the Redoubtable and Achilles approaching from the other direction, the two chaos vessels disengaged. This left the Imperial fleet free to concentrate on the Mjolnr, Hrrokin and Naglfar. With the Imperial fleet approaching from both sides, and a combined bomber wave from the carriers having little effect, the situation was grave for Thok's fleet. Lucky hits from Agamemnon's nova cannon and long range lance fire had already crippled the chaos battleship, and the Naglfar was taking severe punishment at the head of the chaos line. the Chaos fleet now had only one option. run for it. after one hour of fighting the chaos vessels turned sharply and cut their engines, but Naglfar was too close to the Imperial fleet. She was pummelled mercilessly by Admiral Carsdale before finally exploding as torpedoes detonated in her engines.

The battle of the Perseus Run was a convincing victory for the Imperium who lost just one escort and minor damage to the Agincourt. However, with almost the entire fleet of Rear Admiral Carsdale in action at Pacifus, this left the convoys dangerously exposed. On the very same day two light cruisers, Hildr and Skogul attacked a convoy bound for Corticant. five of the eight transports were lost before the brave actions of the escorting dauntless class cruisers and heroic fighting from one solitary cobra class destroyer caused enough damage to the pair of cruisers to force them to disengage. Many transports had been lost, but the Imperium had more, and Thok had in the course of one day lost one capital ship and seen four crippled, including the battleship Mjolnir. 1004.010M42 was a good day for the Imperium.

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