2nd Battle of Dubhe 2147
Turn 11


ESU/IJSF frontier The ESU 3rd Fleet under Kontr-admiral Zhou Li has been garrisoning the Dubhe system since wresting control of it, and the Kawasaki Corporation colony on Dubhe V, from the Imperial Japanese Star Fleet in 2142.

Zhou has been waiting for the inevitable Japanese counter-attack, and hoping that reinforcements promised him by the VKF Central Committee will arrive in time.

In 2147, the awaited reinforcements arrive in the form of Kontr-admiral Alu Pelshe's 1st Fleet. VKF High Command has seen fit to promote Zhou to the rank of Vitse-admiral with command of the entire Dubhe sector and Pelshe's 1st Fleet will now form part of 3rd Fleet.

Hard on Pelshe's heels, the remote sensor buoys in the Dubhe Kuiper belt signal further tachyon shear as more ships drop out of FTL. Two hostile Capital class and four hostile Cruiser class ships are in-bound. The IJSF counter-attack has begun.

The Dubhe system consists of eight planets. Dubhe V is a Terran class planet, Dubhe VI and VII are small gas giants, and Dubhe VIII is a large gas giant. The remaining planets are small, uninhabitable rocky worlds.

ESU Situation:

Newly promoted Vitse-admiral Zhou, still sorting out the recently augmented 3rd Fleet, has a battle on his hands. His orders are to hold the Dubhe system at all costs and to prevent the loss of the valuable colony on Dubhe V.

As the defender, Zhou has the option of engaging in free space, out beyond the planetary system; around one of the three gas giants in the system; or around the colony world, itself. In free space, or in the smaller gravity well of the colony world, he can still reserve the option to escape via FTL, if he so chooses. If he engages in the more massive gravity wells of the gas giants, he commits himself utterly.

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 (the Lucky 8's are still down a ship from the 1st Battle of Dubhe and number only five)
Petrograd class Battleship Petrograd
Udaloy class Missile Battlecruiser Udaloy
Manchuria class Battlecruiser Mongolia (Kontr-admiral Pelshe's flag)
Tibet class Light Cruiser Anhui
Tibet class Light Cruiser Fujian
Volga class Heavy Destoyer Vychegda
Kashin class Missile Destroyer Kashin
Novgorod class Frigate Novgorod
Novgorod class Frigate Yastreb
Nanuchka II class Corvette Shytl

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, Anhui, Vychegda, Kashin, Yastreb and Shytl are Average officers. The Captains of the Fujian and Novgorod are Poor officers.

IJSF Situation:

The liberation of the Kawasaki Corporation colony of Dubhe V has been occupying the minds of planners at IJSF High Command since the fall of the colony in 2142. A scratch force of three new Mogami class Heavy Missile Cruisers have been committed to the operation, along with Admiral Ito Nakamura's 1st Fleet and the Patrol Cruiser of 3rd Fleet.

After a Deep Space rendezvous, Admiral Nakamura leads the augmented 1st Fleet into the Dubhe system. His orders are to drive out the ESU invaders and liberate the colony. As the fleet clears FTL, scan reports the presence of four Hostile Capital class, two Cruiser class, and five Escort class ships in system. Nakamura realises that the ESU invaders have been reinforced, and that he has a serious battle on his hands.

1st Fleet consists of:
Hiryu class Light Carrier Hiryu - carrying four flights of Standard fighters, a flight of Interceptors, and a flight of Torpedo Bombers
Yamato class Battleship Yamato, with a flight of Interceptors
Mogami class Heavy Missile Cruisers Mogami
Mogami class Heavy Missile Cruisers Mikuma
Mogami class Heavy Missile Cruisers Myoko
Ronin class Patrol Cruiser Ronin

The Hiryu is acting as flagship.

Admiral Nakamura is an Average officer as are the Captains of the Hiryu, Yamato and the Ronin. The Captains of the Mogami and Myoko are Good officers and the Captain of the Mikuma is a Poor officer.

Imperial Japanese Star Fleet:2289 Points638 Mass
Eurasian Solar Union:2321 Points706 Mass

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.

KASHIN Class DDM: Mass 28, Ave Hull (2/2/2/2), Thrust-4, FTL, 1xArmour, 1xFireCon, 1xPDS, 2xClass-1, 1xSMR(ER); 94 pts.

Ships designed by Mark ‘Indy’ Kochte.

All Imperial Japanese Space Fleet ships were Beta Fleet standard except for:

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

Ship designed by Paul MacQuibban.

Historical Result:

Zhou decided the give battle around Dubhe V, and formed up 3rd Fleet in two lines, the cruisers and escorts in the first line covering the carrier, battleship and two battlecruisers in the second. Nakamura deployed his cruisers in a line with the Ronin in the centre, the Yamato behind the centre of the line, and the Hiryu further back.

Given the IJSF approach vector, Zhou was forced to swing his formation to starboard to begin his approach run. On turn 5, fighters were launched by both sides and the IJSF opened fire with their long range missiles.

The ESU fighters greatly assisted in taking out the initial barrage of missiles, but were then overwhelmed in a series of dog-fights by the superior numbers of IJSF fighters. About this time the destroyer VKF Vechegda was destroyed by missile fire.

About turn 7, with the two fleets closing rapidly, the ESU lost in quick succession the frigate Yastreb and the corvette Shytl. The IJSF was laying down a ferocious barrage of missiles, but the ESU Point Defence fire was letting very little through. Even the fighter superiority the IJSF had enjoyed was not proving decisive.

As the two fleets passed through each other, the light cruiser VKF Fujian was destroyed and then the missile destroyer VKF Kashin. The IJSF ships were also taking a pounding, with the Mogami being torn apart after loosing Main and FTL drives, most of her Beam mounts, and her bridge and life support.

Manoeuvring to re-engage, the light cruiser VKF Anhui took a hit to her power plant. A turn later, she blew apart as the damaged power plant went critical.

By this time, the Hiryu had passed around Dubhe V. Admiral Nakamura, assessing his damage reports, concluded that to prolong the engagement could see him loosing his fleet so, reluctantly, he passed the order to disengage. The Hiryu began to accelerate out-system, pursued by the frigate VKF Novgorod. The Mikuma and Myoko burst through the ESU line for a second time, before escaping, and the heavily damaged Yamato was heading in the opposite direction, frantically trying to repair her FTL drive. The five surviving ESU ships were in a fairly battered state and Vitse-admiral Zhou was content to hold the system.

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