Thursday, March 03, 2016

The fourth battle of Minos

Order of Battle

Imperial Fleet of Admiral Enkvist
• Leipzig – Emperor Class Battleship commandeered by Admiral Enkvist
• Sevastapol – Mars Class Cruiser (Crippled)
• Port Arthur – Dictator Class Cruiser (Hulked)
• Seelow Heights – Dictator Class Cruiser
• Malinovka – Gothic Class Cruiser (Hulked)
• 5 Cobras (4 destroyed)
The Iron Warrior Fleet of Warlord Diodotus
• Sword of Charybdis - Devastation Class Cruiser commanded by Warlord Diodotus
• Shield of Charybdis – Devastation Class Cruiser
• Iron Eternal – Carnage Class Cruiser
• Strength Eternal – Carnage Class Cruiser (crippled)
• Eternal Will– Carnage Class Cruiser
• Sword of Olympia – Archeron Class Cruiser
• Sword of Olympia – Archeron Class Cruiser
• 2 Idolators (1 destroyed)
The Battle

The Iron Warriors fleet, having spent several weeks in de facto control of Minos' inner system, discovered Admiral Enkvist was once again planning attacking in system. Warlord Diodotus, lieutenant of Warsmith Stahl had no intention of allowing Enkvist to take the initiative and made her own plan to attack the Imperial staging point at the systems edge. At 17:50 local time the now repaired fleets of the Iron Warriors and Admiral Enkvist engaged.

Unfortunately for Imperial fleet, the Malinovka and her Cobra escorts were separated from the main fleet and ambushed. The main Imperial fleet attempted to support with long range fire and along with the Cobra's Torpedoes succeeded in crippling the Strength Eternal who disengaged. In return, massed weapons batteries and Lances reduced the Malinovka to a hulk, and destroyed all but one of the Cobras who were forced to disengage. Expecting the Ghost of Rofocale to ambush as it had done in previous engagements most of the Imperial ships crews hesitated in their work and as a result the fleets ordinance was slow to reload. Over the next hour the two fleets exchanged long ranged fire, with fast moving Imperial assault boats managing to inflict significant damage on both the Eternal Will and the Shield of Charybdis. All Iron Warrior ships had taken on hundreds of additional slave crews from the populace of Minos, and so all damage was quickly repaired.

Despite the Spears of Olympia's bridge being destroyed, the Iron Warrior fleet crossed the T of the Imperial Fleet and brought their massive broadsides to bear. Over the next 30 minutes, the Iron Warriors concentrated their fire, first crippling the Sevastapol and then destroying the Port Arthur. The Captain of the Seelow Heights, being completely surrounded dived into the gas clouds and disengaged. Admiral Enkvist, having lost most of his fleet knew he had suffered a devastating defeat, the only option was to ensure no Imperial vessels fell into enemy hands. Over the final hours of the engagement the Iron Warriors attempted to manoeuvre into a favourable firing position, however Enkvist managed to evade the enemy fleet and fled the Minos system with the flaming hulks of the Malinovka and Port Arthur in tow.

The impact of Admiral Enkvist's fleet being driven from the Minos system was terrible for the Imperial ground forces. Without the Imperial ships harrying the fleet, the Iron Warriors were free to bombard the Imperial defences on Minos with impunity, reducing them to dust. Only the final fortress within the capital remained, but without further reinforcements, Minos was doomed.

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