Commander, Rogue Squadron
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Ithaca, NY
As the Empire, I once had the unenviable task of defending a wider front than the enemy had to--there was a large Rebel fleet concentrated at one planet in a hyperspace chokepoint, and I had perhaps three front-line planets in range that I needed to defend. I was pretty strapped for credits, so my defensive forces were only medium-sized when compared to the Rebel fleet. My front lines were not very defensible, so I made the decision to elimenate a lesser threat to one of the planets, and I took the risk of taking half of one world's garrison fleet and attacking a relatively undefended Rebel position.
Sure enough, the Rebels chose to assault the world I left practically unguarded. Their fleet consisted of Home One, a few Marauders, and innumerable Assault Frigates. Corvette-class vessels were conpicuously missing. My forces included a level 3 station, a Broadside cruiser, a couple VicStars and Acclamators, a few Tartan patrol cruisers, one TIE scout unit, and a Hypervelocity Cannon. I owe my victory to the TIE Scouts and the ground-based cannon.
The first thing I did was use the scouts to ping the immediate vicinity of Home One's radar signature, revealing the enemy fleet. I decided I would take immediate advantage of the lack of Rebel corvettes to try and knock out Home One, and hope that that would turn back the Rebels. I knew that I couldn't hold out against the number of Assault Frigates that they could bring to bear. So, after arraying my cruisers into a defensive perimeter across a gap between asteroid fields a short distance from my station, I immediately ordered a cannon strike on Home One, a diamond-boron missile barrage of Home One and the nearby ships, and I sent my bombers directly towards Ackbar's ship with a TIE fighter screen ahead of them.
The Rebel Marauder Cruiser began setting up for a barrage on my station. I knew that while it remained at standoff range, it could flatten my station with impunity. So I ordered all my TIE fighters to engage it, and sent my garrison Tartan around the asteroids to intercept it. Those forces managed to avoid engaging with any of the other Rebel ships, and my bid to destroy the cruiser succeeded--but not before the Marauder got off one full missile barrage that took a lot of shields and hull points from my perimeter cruisers.
Meanwhile, the Hypervelocity Cannon strike had left Home One with a lot of damaged hardpoints. My missile barrage did a good job of stripping its shields, and when the bombers finally arrived, I had them blow away the Calamari's main engines before they were taken down by X-Wings. My TIE fighters were too crippled from their run on the Marauder to contribute to covering the bombers, and at this point, my first wave of fighters was basically expended. But I had Home One crippled and unable to get within range of my station or my perimeter defenses!
Right about at this time, the first wave of Rebel Assault Frigates engaged my Destroyers. I managed to keep them off the station at first, but there were enough that one or two could make a run straight by the defenders and begin firing on the station. Only moments before, I had diverted my second wave of bombers to attack Home One's shield generator, so they were unavailable to help with defense of the station. I tried to focus the station's fire on the Assault Frigates, but to little effect.
After an agonizing wait, the Hypervelocity Cannon came on-line again. Still reasoning that the loss of their flagship might spook the Rebels, I fired on Home One, taking out the weapons banks facing my station. After another few bomber runs, it only had a few damaged ion cannons--but I had no forces to attack it with. I figured that it was crippled enough, and I turned my attention to the frigates that were now harasing my station. A moment later, I saw another barrage of enemy missiles fly in--more Marauders had appeared. Sending newly deployed bombers to engage the frigates nearest my station, I again dispatched TIEs and Tartans to attack the missile cruisers. Fortunately, those units immediately distracted the cruisers from my main defensive ships.
I began to focus my firepower on those Assault Frigates closest to my station. As they made their passes, I fired on their engines, trying to limit their maneuverability before they could reorient themselves for another run. The Hypervelocity Cannon fired twice more, both times on frigates. The Rebels, for their part, blew away space station hardpoint after space station hardpoint. My defensive ships began to lose their combat ability, and I tried to move them away from the main engagement as they were eaten away in an attempt to draw the frigates from the station--a failed attempt. Home One languished at the periphery of the main battle, trying to limp within weapons range of the station.
However, two things then happened in quick succession: my Tartan/TIE group blew the last of the Marauders from the sky, and I fired a fatal Hypervelocity Cannon blast at Home One, which had meadered into weapons range. Seconds later, my bombers (which were dogging a frigate) took out their target's engines. All at once the Rebels had suffered too many losses for their commander to stomach, and they called a retreat. I did a bit of damage to their frigates, but many of them got away.
I hadn't lost a single ship, though none of them remained fully spaceworthy. The Rebels were sitting on a fleet of Assault Frigates in their reinforcement queue, but they were apparently so disheartened by the loss of Home One that they would rather pull out quickly than deploy the rest of their fleet. I let them go, not having an Interdictor cruiser handy. The whole battle lasted for a very frenzied two minutes or so, and left me breathing a huge sigh of relief afterward!