1st Battle of Wezen 2155
Turn 19


ESU/IJSF frontier The 2nd Battle of Dubhe had shown Eurasian Solar Union Vitse-admiral Zhou Li just how exposed his position in the Dubhe system was, and how long his supply lines were.

Consequently, he ordered the entire population of the former Kawasaki Corporation colony aboard a fleet of colony ships and abandoned the Dubhe system for the less salubrious, but more conveniently located Wezen system.

A hastily constructed Planetary Defence Unit, a pair of locally built destroyers, and the arrival of a destroyer unit from Bootis helped solve Zhou’s lack of escort ships but he still had concerns regarding the defence of Wezen, especially after two Japanese scouting parties swept through the system.

Then, in 2155 the Outrange system buoys began to pick up the in-bound signals of hostile ships. The Imperial Japanese Space Force had arrived.

Wezen System contains seven planets. Wezen III is a Minimal Terran world and has been force settled by the Eurasian Solar Union, using the transported population of Dubhe V. Wezen VI is a Barren, mineral rich world that the ESU hopes to settle in the future. Wezen II is a Small Gas Giant and Wezen IV, V and VII are large gas giants. All other planets in the system are small, uninhabitable, rocky worlds.

Eurasian Solar Union Situation:

The Eurasian Solar Union 3rd Fleet under Vitse-admiral Zhou Li has to hold the Wezen system. Zhou has to have at least one warship in system to maintain control of the captured population settled on Wezen III.

As the defender, Zhou has the option of engaging in free space, out beyond the planetary system; around one of the four gas giants in the system; or around the colony world, itself. Unless the battle takes place around Wezen III, Zhou cannot the use the orbital Planetary Defence Units for fire support, nor use its fighter flight.

The Planetary Defence Unit is equivalent to a Battledreadnought class ship, except that it lacks FTL drives and cannot manoeuvre. It carries a standard fighter flight. As the PDU is in orbit around the planet it protects, it will follow the orbiting rules for ‘Planets and Other Large Bodies’ from Pg 13 of More Thrust.

3rd Fleet consists of:
Tsiolkovsky class Light Carrier Glushko, carrying four flights of Katya Standard multi-role fighters - Evil Horde, Iron Fists, Victorious Workers and Lucky 8's
Petrograd class Battleship Petrograd
Udaloy class Missile Battlecruiser Udaloy
Manchuria class Battlecruiser Mongolia (Kontr-admiral Pelshe's flag)
Gorshkov class Heavy Cruiser Azov
Voroshilov class Heavy Cruiser Grechko
Warsaw class Destroyer Kielce
Warsaw class Destroyer Kovno
Warsaw class Destroyer Lublin
Warsaw class Destroyer Lvov
Warsaw class Destroyer Vilna
Warsaw class Destroyer Terezin
Novgorod class Frigate Novgorod

The Glushko is acting as flagship.

Zhou is a Good officer and gains a '+1' on Initiative rolls. Also, one ship under his command, which may be changed from turn to turn, acts as if it has a Good Captain due to Zhou's inspiring advice. The Captains of the Petrograd and Mongolia are Good officers. Kontr-admiral Pelshe and the Captains of the Glushko, Udaloy, Azov, Grechko, Kielce, Kovno, Lublin, Lvov, Vilna and Terezin are Average officers. The Captain of the Novgorod is a Poor officer.

Imperial Japanese Star Fleet Situation:

After so nearly achieving victory at the 2nd Battle of Dubhe Admiral Ito Nakamura has been gathering his forces in Deep Space to attempt to liberate the Kawasaki colonists from the prison planet of Wezen III. As he jumped towards Wezen, he received welcome word that the 1st Destroyer Flotilla, out of Kruger system, was inbound to his assistance.

As 1st Fleet began to deploy in the Wezen system, Admiral Nakamura could feel quietly confident that, this time, he would succeed.

1st Fleet consists of:
Hiryu class Light Carrier Hiryu - carrying five flights of Standard fighters and a flight of Interceptors
Yamato class Battleship Yamato, with a flight of Standard Fighters
Ronin class Patrol Cruiser Ronin
Mogami class Heavy Missile Cruisers Mikuma
Mogami class Heavy Missile Cruisers Myoko
Mogami class Pulse Torpedo Cruiser Takao
Shoya class Picket Shoya
Soyokaze class Destroyer Asagiri Soyokaze class Destroyer Fujinamia
Soyokaze class Destroyer Hanatsuki Soyokaze class Destroyer Harukaze
Soyokaze class Destroyer Hatsuzakura Soyokaze class Destroyer Hayanami
Soyokaze class Destroyer Isokaze Soyokaze class Destroyer Isonami
Naginata/H class Strike Boat Naginata Naginata/H class Strike Boat Fuyo
Naginata/H class Strike Boat Harutsuki Naginata/H class Strike Boat Hayate
Naginata/H class Strike Boat Inazuma Naginata/H class Strike Boat Kagero
Naginata/H class Strike Boat Katana Naginata/H class Strike Boat Kuwa
Naginata/H class Strike Boat Manrikiju Naginata/H class Strike Boat Momi
Naginata/H class Strike Boat Momo
Naginata/A class Strike Boat Sakura Naginata/A class Strike Boat Sandanju
Naginata/A class Strike Boat Shirayuki Naginata/A class Strike Boat Murasame
Three Ninja Class scouts
Two Fleet Auxiliaries

The Hiryu is acting as flagship.

Admiral Nakamura is an Average officer as are the Captains of the Hiryu, Yamato, Ronin, Takao, Fuyo, Harutsuki, Hayate, Katana, Kuwa, Murasame, Sandanju, Sakura, Shirayuki, Fujinami, Harakaze, Hayanami and Isokaze. The Captains of the Myoko, Naginata, Kagero, Momi, Asagiri, Hanatsuki and Isonami are Good officers and the Captains of the Mikuma, Shoya, Inazuma, Manrikiju, Momo, and Hatsuzakura, and Rear-admiral Idiyami are Poor officers.

Imperial Japanese Star Fleet:3896 Points1147 Mass
Eurasian Solar Union:2727 Points828 Mass
(3203 incl. PDU)(975 incl. PDU)
(2745 incl. PDU Ftrs only)(837 incl. PDU Ftrs only)

Ships used:
All Eurasian Solar Union ships in this engagement were Fleet Book 1 standard except for:

UDALOY Class BC/M: Mass 94, Strong Hull (10/10/9/9), Thrust-4, FTL, 1xLevel-1 Screen, 2xFireCon, 3xPDS, 1xClass-1, 4xClass-2 (AP/FP/F, FP/F/FS, AS/FS/F, F), 1xSML, 6-Mass Magazine; 312 pts.

Ship designed by Mark ‘Indy’ Kochte.

All Imperial Japanese Space Fleet ships were Beta Fleet standard, except as noted below.

The Fleet Auxiliaries were Fleet Book 1 standard.

MOGAMI Class CH/M: Mass 90, Weak Hull (6/5/5/5) Thrust-5, FTL, 2xFireCon, 2xPDS, 7xClass-1 Beams, 2xSML, 21-Mass Magazine; 309 pts

MOGAMI Class CH/P: Mass 90, Weak Hull (6/5/5/5), Thrust 5, FTL, 1 x Level-1 Screen, 2x FireCon, 1x PDS, 7x Class-1 Beams, 1x Class-2 Beam (AP/A/AS), 5x Pulse Torpedoes (F); 309 pts.

NAGINATA/A Class Strikeboat: Mass 10, Fragile Hull (1), Thrust-6, FTL, 3x PDS, 1x ADFC; 37 pts

NAGINATA/H Class Strikeboat: Mass 10, Fragile Hull (1), Thrust-6, FTL, 1x PDS, 1 x Class-1 HDC; 35 pts

Ships designed by Paul MacQuibban.

Historical Result:

Admiral Zhou decided to engage near the colony world of Wezen III and divided his fleet into a Light Division, consisting of the heavy cruisers Azov and Grechko and the destroyers Kielce, Kovno, Lublin, Lvov, Vilna and Terezin, and a Heavy Division of Udaloy, Mongolia, Petrograd and the carrier Glushko. The frigate Novgorod was attached to the Heavy Division to prevent its Poor Captain hindering the Light Division’s operations.

The Light Division, in reverse ‘V’ formation with the cruisers at the apex, was to sweep around to ‘port’ of the planet and engage at high speed, while the Heavy Division, with the battlecruisers either side of the carrier and battleship, moved more slowly to ‘starboard’ of the planet in an attempt to draw the Japanese within range of the guns of the Planetary Defence Unit.

Admiral Nakamura also drew up his fleet in two divisions with a small reserve. The reserve consisted of the two fleet support vessels, and a scout, lagging well behind the main battle line and with orders to stay that way.

The Hiryu Division consisted of the carrier Hiryu, flanked by a pair of Naginata/As, and with a scout tucked in behind, preceded by a wall of Naginata/Hs, while the Yamato Division consisted of the Yamato, also flanked by a pair of Naginata/As, proceeded by the destroyers and heavy cruisers. On the starboard end of the line, three Naginata/Hs covered the gap between the two divisions. The Fleet Auxiliaries trailed well behind the battle line.

The Eurasian Solar Union Light Division moved quickly to engage the Hiryu division, while the ESU Heavy Division moved to engage the Yamato division at much slower speed.

Firing commenced between the Hiryu division and the ESU Light Division on turn 4 as the Hiryu launched its fighters. The flanking Naginata/H’s of the Yamato division peeled off to engage the flank of the Light Division and soon the ESU ships were caught in a vicious crossfire.

The Azov, Kielce, Kovno, Lvov, Vilna and Terezin were all quickly destroyed by well placed HDC shots, while the Fuyo, Hayate, Inazuma, Kagero, Katana and Momi strike boats were destroyed in turn. By now, the Grechko and Lublin had passed through the Hiryu division and were making for the Fleet Auxiliaries when the Grechko, already damaged, was destroyed by a fighter attack.

Meanwhile, the ESU Heavy Division was passing around Wezen III and moving into range of the Yamato division. Fighters from the Glushko and the Planetary Defence Unit were engaging the Yamato’s destroyer line, and Harakaze and Takao were taking heavy damage, when a sudden solar flare cut all sensors and communications across the system.

By the time the flare had passed, the two fleets had separated enough to withdraw and regroup. (Paul had to leave before the battle could properly finish!).

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