Skirmish at Schedar 2147
|Manchuria class Battlecruiser Shandong|
|Gorshkov class Heavy Cruiser Ochakov|
|Volga class Heavy Destroyer Angara|
|Warsaw class Destroyer Czestochowa|
|Novgorod class Frigate Neustrashimy|
The Shandong is acting as flag ship.
Admiral Zinoviev is an Average Officer, as are the Captains of the Shandong, Ochakov and Neustrashimy. The Captains of the Czestochowa and Angara are Poor Officers.
Admiral Katharina Haunenstricker's orders are to cautiously explore Schedar system to determine the fate of Admiral Von Vettinghoff and 1st Fleet; to probe for the presence of hostile units; to evade contact; and to report back to NSL High Command.
5th Fleet consists of:
|Markgraf class Heavy Cruiser Markgraf|
|Waldburg/M class Missile Destroyer Diamantmarkierung|
|Waldburg/M class Missile Destroyer Boa|
|Waldburg class Destroyer Csikos|
The Markgraf is serving as flagship.
Admiral Haunenstricker is an Average Officer as are the Captains of the Diamantmarkierung and Boa. The Captains of the Markgraf and the Csikos are Good Officers.
|Eurasian Solar Union:||883 Points||248 Mass|
|Neu Swabian League:||573 Points||172 Mass|
All Neu Swabian League ships in this engagement were Fleet Book 1 standard.
All Eurasian Solar Union ships in this engagement were Fleet Book 1 standard.
Admiral Haunenstricker won Initiative and decided that the battle would take place in Free Space, allowing her the option to FTL away if the Eurasian Solar Union force proved superior to hers.
Haunenstricker's force deployed in the new NSL Lance formation, Csikos forming the apex of the triangle based on the Boa and Diamantmarkierung while the Markgraf held the middle of the base-line. Zinoviev, with two slow ships, threw them forward in his centre with Shandong and Ochakov trailing and to either flank. The Neustrashimy frigate led the formation, out to starboard of the line.
At 200 MU separation, Haunenstricker ordered a four point turn to port. The NSL ships came around, reversing facing but holding their relative positions, while the ESU formation bore down on them. Neustrashimy, with a higher acceleration, began to draw ahead as Shandong and Ochakov overhauled the slower Czestochowa and Angara.
All NSL units now had their FTL engines on-line but Haunenstricker was hoping for a closer look at the approaching ESU ships before 5th Fleet Jumped.
By turn 8, Neustrashimy had crossed the stern of the NSL Lance and had come close enough to scan, and be scanned by, Csikos and Boa. Neustrashimy was now at Thrust 55 to the NSL Thrust 24. Behind Neustrashimy, Shandong and Ochakov were bearing down at Thrust 39. Slowly, but steadily, the NSL lead was being whittled away.
On turn 13, after a breaking manoeuvre, Neustrashimy came within range of her Class 2 Beam. She put a shot into Boa, slagging the Swabian's armour and scoring two points of hull damage (6 followed by a 6). Neustrashimy's breaking manoeuvre had neatly kept her out of Boa's missile arc.
As the damage reports flashed to her command bridge, Haunenstricker considered her options. As strong as the temptation was to turn and engage Neustrashimy, she was acutely aware of the Capital and Cruiser class bogeys bearing down on her at Thrust 61. They would leap from plots on longscan to in-your-face ship killers in a matter of moments if she paused to engage the 'Black Frigate'. Reluctantly, Haunenstricker gave the order, and the four NSL ships vanished into FTL.
I played this battle as a solo game, using the Officer Ratings, and Chris's orders for his NSL fleet, to guide me. Afterwards, Chris rather glumly wished that Admiral Haunenstricker had been a little less cautious, so he could have got better scan data on the rest of the ESU fleet. I pointed out that Neustrashimy's superb shooting had hurt Boa, and that in most other respects, Haunenstricker had achieved her objectives, and saved her command.
Neustrashimy acquired the nick-name the 'Black Frigate' after being the only ESU ship to get in range of the NSL scout in the Kochab System. Again, her gunnery was excellent and the scout was destroyed.