The xeno fleet is in full retreat while the Imperials were taking stock and rebuilding their orbital defences to prevent another invasion taking them by surprise.
Whie conducting mop up operations, Imperial scout ships have found unusual activity on the opposite side of Mago, the next closest planet to Scipio.
Upon closer inspection of the anomaly, Imperial scanners picked up the possible presence of a large xeno presence. It is thought that this is where they staged their invasion, using the uninhabitable planet Mago to shield their activity.
A large xeno space station, the mother ship, is thought to be the command and control centre of the entire hive fleet. If the Imperial forces can destroy it, it could mean the end of the hive, the negation of future threat and vengeance for the damage done to the Delta Valley.
|Hive mother ship orbiting the far side of Mago|
This scenario will be played with Dropfleet Commander, however, there will be no ground objectives, this will be a straight up spaceship fight. Rhe destruction of the space station, which counts as a critical location, being the main aim of the Imperial troops, winner will determined by kill points. I gave the Imperial troops a 100 point advantage but also gave the Xenos a large station with 16 hull.
Imperial troops deploy in a battle line, focusing their heavy ships on their right flank
The xenos, although reduced in number, send in everything they have to defend their most valuable asset, the hive mind aboard the station.
The opening salvos are fired on the right flank of the Imperial troops, the New Cairos use their burn through lasers to open up on the a pair of Strix xeno cruisers and cause serious damage, but also take a beating from the close action weapons in return. The xenos seeing that their left flank is outnumbered reinforce it with their main battlegroup.
Imperial troops launch bombers against the deadly cruisers, these are countered by the superior fighter launch assets that the xenos have.
In the next turn the Imperials take out the damaged Strix with a salvo, while the remaining cruiser makes an aggressive move towards the St Petersburg heavy cruisers and engages with more closed action weapons. The xeno battlecruiser, Basilisk, follows up behind and finishes off the New Cairos with support from the Djinn frigates moving up to support.
End of turn 2, the close action frigates and main battlegroup of the xenos move across the table to support while in the Imperials still have a battlegroup in reserve on their left moving into the fray.
The Basilisk finds itself in a bad position and attracts the attention of the Atlantis taking heavy damage from multiple ships. Meanwhile the Strix does it's best to damage the Moscow before going down to combined fire from lasers and turrets.
The Djinns move up to close range and finish off the St Petersburg with their close action weapons. The Imperial right flank has seen both sides take heavy losses as the field opens up.
Meanwhile on the other side of the table the pair of Rio cruisers supported by Toulons move in on the flank of the Xenos.
At the end of Turn 3, the untouched Imperial battlegroup focuses fire on the Hydra and takes it out as the Xeno heavy cruiser, Shenlong moves in to finish the Atlantis, the Imperials flagship.
The Shenlong goes weapons free and takes out the Atlantis, the admiral of the Imperial Fleet, Clive Owen, goes down with his ship in a burning wreck.
Second to last turn and the xeno fleet defending the hive ship have been wittled down to the last remaining ship, the Imperials have also lose a significant number of heavy ships but are in better position to finish things off.
Instead of going for the mother ship as the mission dictated, the last intact Imperial battlegroup decided to exact revenge for the loss of their admiral and attack the remaining xeno ships.
The game ended in an effective draw, the Imperial side had one more victory point based on kill points, however they failed to destroy or damage the mother ship, a critical location. The invasion has been repulsed but the xeno hive mind was still in tact and able to escape the galaxy.
Some closing thoughts on the game and the campaign:
- This is the last official battle in the campaign, but don't worry there will be an epilogue and other campaigns I have brewing in my mind in the near future.
- As the xeno (Scourge) player I have struggled in these space battles with positioning myself correctly, I think the Imperial fleet (UCM) are much more forgiving in their play style but also less deadly.
- I wanted to try playing DCF without ground assets and in some ways I prefer it this way. Less mechanics to worry about, faster game that still retains the tactical feel of orbital layers, different weapons systems and signatures. I still like the option of having ground objectives, it adds variety to a genre of games that can get repetitive and stale, however I sometimes think the ground game can dominate the game too much whereas I prefer spaceships blowing each other up.
- Thanks to all those who viewed this page and liked the links on facebook.