Sunday, May 16, 2010

Moonface breaks Bastien blockade

With Admiral Thok failing to reach Bastien with his fleet, the ever opportunistic Moonface considered that now would be a good time to test out his new fleet. Imperial intelligence had utterly failed to find out that the Catechism now had capital ships and so it came as an unpleasant shock when five enemy cruiser, broadcasting the litanies of Moonface across all channels, appeared in the Bastien system.

Admiral Dreyer knew he could not afford to leave station with Iron Duke as his fleet was engaged in supporting the ground offensive. Instead he dispatched the cruisers Glorious, Cressy, Indomitable and Audacious to hold off the new arrivals. He hoped that his experienced crews would be able to gain the upper hand against the numerically superior Chaos fleet.

The Catechism vessels were engaged at the outer edge of the Bastien system some days later on 1505.010M42. Belying their inexperience the Chaos ships approached in tight formation abeam to the Imperial cruisers, and were quickly able to cripple the gothic class Indomitable. Even so the largest Chaos vessel, a grand cruiser of unknown designation, was singled out by Captain D'Oyly-Hughes aboard Glorious. She took multiple lance and gun battery hits before torpedoes and bombers finally overwhelmed her.

Unfortunately any hope of a decisive victory for the Imperial fleet died with the Chaos vessel, as the ensuing explosion wrought havoc amongst the Imperial vessels closest to the detonation. Several bomber wings, en route to other targets were destroyed along with several firestorm escorts.

The Catechism fleet, despite losing their grand cruiser, now hammered the imperial battle line. Glorious and Audacious were both put out of action and had to disengage, and soon Cressy was left on her own, without escort, facing four of the best Chaos cruisers, two carnage class, a devastation and an Acheron heavy cruiser.

Captain Johnson aboard the Cressy decided against a suicidal charge and disengaged, leaving the remaining four cruisers of the Catechism fleet free to approach Bastien. Now only Iron Duke and the two dominator class vessels Repulse and Black Prince stood between the Catechism and the Imperial landings. Jellicoe ordered Cressy to join them, while recalling the three damaged cruisers to Corticant for urgent battlefield repairs. At Bastien Dreyer wondered if Moonface would risk his vessels against his Emperor class battleship and two nova cannons.

No comments: