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Drakkars

By the narrowest of margins. Cc round 3

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Cc turn 3.  The second battle of Vagran.
By the narrowest of margins….

“Commander, here are the status reports that you requested”.
Commander Sato turned away from his contemplation of the view port and faced the intruding lieutenant.   His right arm itched irritably under the bacta patch that was the constant reminder of his fleet’s failure, no, HIS failure, during the rebel raid on Plympto.  His evenings were still spent in an endless nightmarish loop of Grand Moff Tarkin springing his ambush and relentlessly hunting down his fleet.  Sato forced the memories away with a grimace and then took the data pad from the young man.   
“Excellent”, he replied.  “does the yard have a time line on when the repairs to the combat transports and the Bravo flight Xwings will be complete?”
“Not for another 24 hours sir, the damage they took have them pretty beat up still, but engineering promised me they are operational if needed.”
“Good.  Tell the transport commander to get us back to the Mon Karren right away.  I’m feeling uneasy and want to see the 33rd Alliance Combat Group back in action.”
Minutes later, Commander’s Sato’s intuition proved correct as alarm klaxons began to sound.   “Commander! Imperial forces have come out of hyperspace and are rapidly approaching! They’ll be here before we can get you to the Mon Karren!”
“Damn” Sato cursed, “Signal the fleet and let them know I’ll be commanding from here.  Get the squadrons launched and bring the fleet around into Hammer formation.  Contact Vagran Base and tell them to scramble the fighter wing, we’ll need them right away.  Sensors! Do we have an ID on the enemy yet?”
The young ensign at the sensor station turned, face pale with fear, “Its Tarkin sir… he’s tracked us down”
For a moment Sato allowed the fear to congeal inside himself as the nightmares flashed through his mind again before he shook it off.  He hit the all ships broadcast controls and spoke clearly into the pick up. “All members of the Fightin’ 33rd, it seems our enemy has come once more.   The alliance needs us, the people in Vagran base need us! There is no option but victory here.  Fight well my brothers and sisters.  Sato out. “
He looked into the tactical displaying and his eyes widened briefly as he took in the enemies deployment.   The plan came together in his mind and he began barking orders. 
The Imperials had deployed in a widely spaced line, with an Imperial Star Destroyer anchoring the left side, Demolisher tucked in beside it, then two gozantis, Arquitens and a Raiders on the right side.   The Rebels counter deployed in a tight formation angled towards the Imperial star destroyer, with the Pelta on the left, Salvation in the middle and Mon Karren on the right.   Two flotilla were deployed in the rear and a mass of fighters weaved throughout the fleet.   
The Imperials pushed forward at high speed trying to close the gap quickly with the Raider and Arquitens desperately closing trying to avoid missing the engagement entirely .  The Vector and Suppressor class Gozantis dove towards the Rebel battle line throwing their 3 ace squadrons at the Rebels faster than they had any right to move.  This took the Rebels by surprise and allowed the Imperial squadrons to pin several flights of Bwings and a Lancer squadron in place.  The combined firepower of the Imps destroyed the Lancer and damaged several other units, but the resulting dogfight spiraled out of control as the remaining 10 flights of Rebel fighters swarmed over Howlrunner,  Mauler Mithel and Valen Rudor, blasting them from the skies before beginning bombing runs on the 2 gozantis.  The Pelta and Salvation moved up and completed the destruction of the flotillas but took damage to their defenses from the Suppressors unique electronic warfare capabilities.   The Imperial star destroyer flagship took the Salvation under fire from long range but only managed to damage it’s shields.  
The Raider continued to fly in at high speed, pulling directly into the fighter scrum, planning on unleashing it’s potent arsenal of experimental flechette torpedoes to lock down the rebel fighter wing. Unfortunately it misjudged it’s distance from the Mon Karren, which unleashed a devastating volley that tore the Raider asunder.  
The Arquitens traded long range fire with the Mon Karren and the Demolisher came out from behind the Imperial star destroyers shadow preparing to make its own attack run.
Sato smiled now, feeling his old confidence return.  His battle plan and the relentless training he’d put his crews through was paying off.  So far they had destroyed half the enemy fleet with the loss of just 1 fighter from the Base defense wing.  Perhaps Tarkin was not so invincible after all.   
“All units, concentrate fire on that Star Destroyer!” He yelled, “Destroyer that and the battle is ours!”
The Rebels engineering crews went into overdrive, transferring shields from ship to ship and repairing other shields.  By the time they were done not one ship showed damage as they advanced towards their hated foe.  Bombers swept forward landing blow after blow on the Star Destroyer and the Pelta, Salvation  and Mon Karren landed heavy blows, shattering first the shields then causing crippling damage to it.  Fires broke out, burning brightly even in the vacuum of space but the fearsome vessel would not be stopped.  The Demolisher swept in, having been all but forgotten in the chaos, unleashing a double volley on the Mon Karren, destroying it’s shields and blasting holes through its hull.  Damage control teams sprung into action but Sato knew a death knell when he saw one.  The Mon Karren managed to land one last weak salvo against the Demolisher, damaging shields but doing no lasting damage, before the Arquitens finished the destruction of the mc80.  
The crippled Star Destroyer fired its last volleys at point blank range, gunnery teams venting their full fury and hatred as their ship died around them, first destroying the undamaged Pelta in one fatal blow and then repeating their miraculous feat again on the Neb B.   Sato felt victory turning to ashes as his once mighty fleet disappeared before his eyes, leaving only his nearly untouched fighter wing and two transports to carry the fight against the Imperial class, Demolisher and Arquitens.   Nora Wexley, his new Y-wing ace, came screaming through the wreckage of her own fleet to land the final blow on the Imperial star destroyer.  As it died Sato swore he could hear Tarkin’s mad laughter ringing across the void of space.  
Sato’s flagship transport swooped away from the remaining capital ships at a run, while his second, scarred, transport flew past the Demolisher in a bid to escape, daring it to take the near impossible shot to kill it, knowing it would only be able to shoot at it once before the transport would be able to escape.
The Demolisher once again lived up to its name again though, firing a devastatingly accurate salvo that managed to foil the transports wild evasive maneuvers while doing just enough damage to see the ship crumble and die.  Commander Sato cursed, knowing that this engagement hung by the barest of threads, 1 transport and a wave of squadrons versus a damaged Arquitens and Gladiator. Thankfully the bombers had the angle on the enemy and were closing to cut off the Arquitens, landing several mostly ineffective shots, while the more damaged squadrons fell back to the station for repairs.  Perhaps seeing that they would be unable to catch the final rebel transport and seeing a wave of fighters approaching them, the two remaining Imperial ships jumped to hyperspace, leaving the Rebels in possession of the battlefield. 

--------------
Final score was:
Sato- 352
Tarkin- 345

Margin of victory was a measly 7 points.  Craziest game I’ve ever played with both fleets starting at nearly 500 points  (Rebels only getting that close by leaving a transport and Xwing scarred).  The two turns of absolutely monstrous rolls from the Demolisher and 1 turn of perfect shooting from the ISD changed this from what I thought was a sure win (and a revenge for the previous turns loss) into a game I was sure I ended up losing until we started adding up points and I realised my fighters gave me just barely enough points for the win.   Talk about an emotional rollercoaster lol. 

Fleet lists I can only say the rebel one which is as follows.   Due to combat losses this particular rebel fleet will likely slightly contract the next round of the campaign.  The Imperial fleet was a 499 point fleet using the ships and squadrons listed, but I’m unsure of the exact load out at this time. 

Rebel Alliance 33rd Combat Group
Cc round 3  
Faction: Rebel Alliance 
Points: 497/400  
Commander: Commander Sato
Assault Objective: Precision Strike 
Defense Objective: Fighter Ambush 
Navigation Objective: Superior Positions 
MC80 Battle Cruiser (103 points)
-  Mon Karren  ( 8  points) 
-  Gunnery Team  ( 7  points) 
-  Spinal Armament  ( 9  points) 
-  Leading Shots  ( 4  points) 
= 131 total ship cost
Modified Pelta-class Assault Ship (56 points)
-  Raymus Antilles  ( 7  points) 
-  Projection Experts  ( 6  points) 
-  Expanded Launchers  ( 13  points) 
-  Shields to Maximum!  ( 6  points) 
= 88 total ship cost
Nebulon-B Escort Frigate (57 points)
-  Salvation  ( 7  points) 
-  Fighter Coordination Team  ( 3  points) 
-  Turbolaser Reroute Circuits  ( 7  points) 
= 74 total ship cost

GR-75 Combat Retrofits (24 points)  scarred
-  Expanded Hangar Bay  ( 5  points) 
-  Bomber Command Center  ( 8  points) 
= 37 total ship cost
[ flagship ] GR-75 Medium Transports (18 points)
-  Commander Sato  ( 32  points) 
-  Comms Net  ( 2  points) 
= 52 total ship cost
3 B-Wing Squadrons ( 42 points) 
3 X-Wing Squadrons ( 39 points)   1 Xwing is scarred
1 Shara Bey ( 17 points) 
1 Norra Wexley ( 17 points) 

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It was a ton of fun and I'm pretty sure the thought of retreat never crossed either of our minds.   As is we both have just enough refit points available to be close to full strength again after this.  Going to be a brawl if this campaign continues this way!

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