3rd Battle of Cephei 2157
|Der Theuerdank class Fighter Carrier Von Vettinghoff with one Flight of Torpedo Bombers, one Flight of Interceptors and two Flights of Heavy Fighters|
|Kronprinz Wilhelm class Light Cruiser Kronprinz Falkenberg|
|Waldburg/M class Missile Destroyer Wurm|
|Waldburg/M class Missile Destroyer Gift|
|Waldburg class Destroyer Komet|
|Stroschen class Corvette/Weasel Boat Emperor Maximilian (can mimic a Capital class vessel).|
2nd Fleet consists of:
|Kronprinz Wilhelm class Light Cruiser Kronprinz Erzherzog Rudolf|
|Waldburg class Destroyer Balaton|
|Stroschen class Corvette Knuppel|
The Cephei Garrison consists of:
|Waldburg/M class Missile Destroyer Klapperschlange|
|Waldburg/M class Missile Destroyer Mungo|
|Waldburg class Destroyer Kuh|
|Waldburg class Destroyer DD207|
|Waldburg class Destroyer DD208|
|Stroschen class Corvette CT303|
Admiral von Vettinghoff and all his Captains, except for the Captain of the Destroyer DD207, are Average Officers. The Captain of the DD207 is a Good Officer.
As the Defender, von Vettinghoff automatically chooses the location of battle, which can be in Free Space, at a gas giant, or near a Dense world. Unless the battle takes place around Cephei I, von Vettinghoff can not use the orbital Planetary Defence Units for fire support, nor call upon their fighter flights.
Eurasian Solar Union Situation:
Kontr–admiral Hei Cong’s 6th Fleet picked up the remnants of 2nd Fleet under 1st Kapitan Nikita Gong in Schedar System in 2153. After falling back on Antares for further re-enforcements, Cong then advanced on Cephei. His orders are to take and hold the system, and to destroy the Neu Swabian League Command Post based on Cephei I.
6th Fleet consists of:
|Tsiolkovsky class Light Carrier Korolev carrying three flights of Katya Standard multi-role fighters – White Wolves, Red Banner Guard and Steel Wind – and one flight of Katya/T Torpedo fighters – Dragon Slayers|
|Petrograd class Battleship Pskov|
|Manchuria class Battlecruiser Qin Ling|
|Gorshkov class Heavy Cruiser Minsk|
|Gorshkov class Heavy Cruiser Ochakov|
|Beijing/B class Escort Cruiser Xiamen|
|Volga class Heavy Destroyer Irtysh|
|Volga class Heavy Destroyer Belaya|
|Volga class Heavy Destroyer Dnestr|
|Warsaw class Destroyer Czestochowa|
|Warsaw class Destroyer Krakow|
|Warsaw class Destroyer Lidice|
|Warsaw class Destroyer Lodz|
|Warsaw class Destroyer Radom|
|Warsaw class Destroyer Piotrkow|
|Novgorod class Frigate Neustrashimy - (the famous ‘Black Frigate’)|
|Five Lenov class Scoutships|
The Korolev is serving as flag ship.
Kontr-admiral Hei is an Average Officer, as are the Captains of Korolev, Pskov, Qin Ling, Ochakov, Xiamen, Belaya, Dnestr, Krakow, Lidice, Lodz, Radom, Piotrkow and Neustrashimy.
The Captains of Minsk, Irtysh, and Czestochowa are Poor Officers.
|Neu Swabian League:||2218 Points||664 Mass|
|(3278 incl. PDUs)||(982 incl. PDUs)|
|(2278 incl. PDU Ftrs only)||(682 incl. PDU Ftrs only)|
|Eurasian Solar Union:||3062 Points||918 Mass|
All Eurasian Solar Union ships in this engagement were Fleet Book 1 standard.
All Neu Swabian League ships in this engagement were Fleet Book 1 standard, except for the Stroschen class Corvette/Weasel Boat. This has the Beam-2 replaced by a Beam-1 and a Weasel Decoy emitter, for a NPV of 84.
Admiral von Vettinghoff deployed his Waldburg and Waldburg/M destroyers in three lances to port of the planet Cephei I. His two light cruisers were stationed back from the gaps between the lances and two Corvettes led the line as scouts.
The Fighter Carrier KRS Von Vettinghoff was in orbit around Cephei I, sharing the orbit with the two Planetary Defence Units. The Corvette/Weasel boat Emperor Maximilian was also in orbit around Cephei I, using it’s Weasel emitter to give the impression that there were four Capital class vessels orbiting the planet.
Kontr-admiral Hei Cong deployed 6th Fleet in three divisions – the Korolev formed the centre of the Heavy Division with the Qin Ling to port and the Pskov to starboard. To port of the Heavy Division, the five scouts of Scout Troop 1 were deployed, while to starboard were deployed the mixed Cruiser and Destroyer Light Division.
Admiral Hei ordered his fleet in at high speed, in an effort to beat the NSL missile envelope, swinging the Scouts in ahead of the Heavy and Light Divisions. Von Vettinghoff sent out his corvettes to scan the approaching ESU ships, before finally getting his fleet under way.
Firing commenced on Turn 3 as the ESU scouts came in range of the starboard NSL corvette and then the Destroyer line. Three of the little ships flared and died as they fired at the Knuppel. As the Knuppel was destroyed, the final two scouts were vaporised.
As the NSL lances got under way, they turned hard to starboard, arcing in towards the planet. The Von Vettinghoff broke orbit and powered out towards the approaching ESU Heavy Division, while the ESU fleet began a turn to port to intercept. The NSL weasel boat also broke orbit, powering deeper into the system to avoid the battle line.
As the Von Vettinghoff passed the Eurasian Heavy Division, both sides launched fighters. The Korolev, Pskov and Qin Ling pounded the Heavy Carrier as the fighter attacks quickly devolved into two massive furballs.
The Von Vettinghoff cleared the ESU battleline and began a hard deceleration. The NSL destroyers and cruisers also managed to edge around the end of the ESU line, bringing the Heavy Division under pressure. After losing first the Piotrkow and then the Irtysh and the Belaga, the ESU destroyed the Komet and then the Klapperschlange.
The Light Division now engaged the Planetary Defence Units, hammering first one, and then the other, as they swung about the planet in their orbits. A salvo of missiles from one of the Gorshkov class Heavy Cruisers destroyed the DD208 as the NSL Destroyers and Cruisers moved out of range of the Light Division.
As the ESU Heavy Division crossed the wake of the NSL Destroyers and Cruisers, they came under concentrated fire. The Qin Ling and the Pskov were destroyed for the loss of the KRS Kronprinz Falkenberg, while the Korolov’s Bridge and life support systems were knocked out. Kontr-admiral Hei shifted his flag to the Ochakov as the Korolov was abandoned.
As 6th Fleet passed around the planet, Kontr-admiral Hei decided that the Cephei defences were just too strong for his fleet and ordered the withdrawal.
Admiral von Vettinghoff was able to heave a sigh of relief as the Eurasian Solar Union ships vanished through the Tachyon shear. He had successfully blunted the ESU attack.
Kontr-admiral Hei would have a lot of explaining to do to the Committee for the Public Safety for not pressing home the attack on Cephei, especially when most of his ships had suffered little or no damage, but the loss of his Heavy Division had un-nerved him and his decision at least kept 6th Fleet in being.
Subsequently, the abandoned Korolov was retrieved by the NSL garrison of Cephei. It became Admiral von Vettinghoff's personal project to restore the ESU Light Carrier to operational status. Work continues.