Friday, February 19, 2010

Scenario 2. Hold them Off

Having defeated the first hive ship, the damaged Emperor's Wrath must confront a second one.

Battle Report:

“Entering range now. Engaging.” Both ships exchanged ineffective long range fire.

“All ahead full, then make a tight turn to starboard and set up to chase it. Keep the starboard batteries lined up as it closes.” The captain remained calm and his bridge crew set about their jobs with practiced efficiency.

“It’s launched one of those projectiles. Brace for impact.” Announced the weapons officer. An explosion rocked the ship, rupturing the hull in many places and a salvo of energy beams struck out from the alien ship.

The captain shouted above the alarms “get us turned about and launch torpedoes as it passes. Maybe that will keep them busy. Get me a damage report, Ex.”

“Multiple hull breaches. Blast doors are holding. We’ve lost one light gun battery. Engineering also reports the FTL drive is down."

“Torpedoes away, sir. Magazine reports that was our last salvo. It continues to close at high speed.”

The large view-screen displayed the alien ship in close-up. The impact of lance and beam weapons showed clearly on its hull.

“None of our torpedoes hit sir. It crossed in front of us too rapidly for them to get a lock.”

Suddenly, a chunk of the alien ship erupted and tore lose, tumbling away and breaking up. “That was a lance strike sir. At this range they are pretty destructive.”

“Keep firing and get the other battery on-line.”

“Brace. Brace. Brace” yelled the weapons officer. The hive ship launched another plasma bolt and at this range, it would take no time to reach them. Once again, the cruiser shook as the force of the plasma bolt raced along the hull, cracking seems and ripping out bulkheads.

“One lance battery is out. Returning fire.” The screen showed another tear in the alien hull and lumps of biomass broke loose and scattered in all directions. But another series of energy beams shot from the hive ship causing the cruiser to lurch as the hull was breached again. “We just lost the other lance battery ,sir. Shields have gone and the main drive is also damaged.”

“Roll the ship and bring the other batteries to bear. Try and stay with it as long as possible. It looks pretty badly damaged to me. We just might get lucky.”

The ship shuddered as the artificial gravity compensated for the roll. The alien ship continued to fire as it rapidly moved away. Then, as soon as they could target the enemy, the cruiser’s port side weapons opened fire in one concentrated volley. On the screen, the hive ship simply fell to pieces. The high energy lance beams cut through what was left of the enemy hull until it burned away to nothing.

“Damage?” the captain asked as he turned to the XO.

“We’re in bad shape, sir. No FTL. Main drive is damaged. We’ve lost both starboard lances and both light gun batteries. All fires are contained, but that is largely because we are venting atmosphere from multiple breaches. I have no tally of crew casualties yet, but it will be bad. With luck, some of them made it to life pods, but we are in no position to attempt to recover them.”

“Nav, how long to reach port?”

“Two hours at current best speed.”

Once again the hooded psyker interrupted. “But we won’t have that long. Look at the scanner.”

"We won't survive another battle. Turn for port. Signal mayday and request assistance. Tell Mercia Base they have an incoming hive ship. Ex, concentrate on the engines, we will need all the speed we can get to escape or to manouevre if that thing catches us. I'll be in sick bay."


These two senarios were deliberately very simple. The aim was just to compare the two ship designs and see how they played. The plasma bolt can be very destructive, but suffers because of its limited rate of fire. The vapour shroud seems largely useless. It may be better to replace it with more armour.

Scenario 1. Interception

This scenario pits a Lunar class cruiser - The Emperor's Wrath - against a hive ship. It is a very one-sided scenario as the cruiser has considerably more mass than the hive ship.

The setup is very simple. Each ship starts in opposite corners of the same short table edge heading towards the centre of the table on an intercept course.

Battle Report:

There was a slight jolt as the ship returned to real space.

“We’ve just emerged in the Anglia system, sir” announced the navigator.

“Unknown contact starboard aft, moving toward us” the scanner operator interrupted excitedly. Then added “ It’s definitely a ship and there’s no IFF signal.”

“Helm, turn to intercept it” the captain responded calmly. “EX, sound action stations. Weapons, launch some sensor drones. I want to know what that is.”

“Drones launched sir. It’ll take a couple of minutes for them to cover the distance.”

“Oh, its them alright” said the hooded officer from his darkened corner of the bridge.

“You can sense them from here?” asked the captain sceptically.

“An evil that strong pervades even the vacuum. Yes, it’s them, and they are hungry.”

“Confirmed sir. The drones have it. It’s a hive ship. We’ll get video in a few seconds.”

The screen lit up with a pixelated blob that gradually resolved into – what? A tentacled writhing mass of vile warpspawn.

“Emperor protect us”, murmured someone.

“Fire as soon as we are in range. Then turn to port and follow it. Nav, calculate the burn we will need to match their velocity. Comms, notify the local authorities we are here and are engaging.”

“Ten seconds sir”, the weapons officer intoned. “Seven ... six ... five ... four ... three ... Firing ... Now.”

Both ships accelerated toward one another and the ‘Wrath’ fired as soon as it entered maximum range. At that range, the weak energy beams were deflected by the Tyranid’s vapour shroud.

“It seems to have some sort of energy shield, sir. Fire was ineffective.” The weapons officer reported.

“Fire a torpedo salvo and turn as we close to bring the starboard broadside to bear. At closer range we should do some damage.” The captain calmly instructed.

“It has launched some sort of projectile at us. PDS engaging.” The ship shook and alarms blared as a large explosion rocked the ship. “Minor damage sir, but is has blown away most of our armour.” At almost the same instant, two of the Wrath’s torpedoes locked onto the alien vessel and impacted blasting biomass into space.

“It has turned towards us, sir” the sensor operator reported.

“Fire another torpedo salvo. All weapons fire at will.”

Another volley of torpedoes locked on and exploded along the forward edge of the hive ship. This was quickly followed by a full broadside of weapons and lances. The hive ship disintegrated in a series of internal explosions with biomass scattered in all directions.

“Target destroyed” stated the weapons officer matter-of-factly.

“Well done, gentlemen. Nav, plot a course for Mercia.” But even as the words left his mouth, the Captain could tell from the grin on the hooded Psyker’s face that it was not that simple.

“Another target, sir. Coming in right behind us. It looks like another one” announced the sensor operator.

“Helm, turn us about. Nav, match its velocity. Weapons, stand by. Engage at will.”

To be continued...

Monday, February 15, 2010

Tyranid Hive Ship

The hive ship is based on Phalon technology, although I am using a Sa'Vasku model of a Shyy'Tha'Var class battlecruiser. I have given it a basic mass of 100.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Other Imperial Cruisers

The basic cruiser hull is used as the basis for a number of variants.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Imperial Lunar Class Cruiser

The lunar class cruiser is one of the major cruiser designs.

Like most imperial ships, it mounts its weapons along the length of the ship in two broadsides. The starboard broadside consists of:

1 heavy (class 3) beam (weapons batteries) limited to starboard for and aft arcs (FS, AS); and
2 torpedo tubes firing for and aft (FS, AS).

The port broadside is the mirror image.

The broadside firepower is supplemented by a forward firing (FP, F, FS) salvo-missile launcher, 2 light (class 1) beams, and 4 point defence systems.

All of this firepower is coordinated through 3 fire control computers.

This class of ship is reasonably well constructed and well manned. It is also equipped with level one screens and a small amount of armour. It has acceptable thrust for a ship of this size.

This class of ship forms the basis of a number of similar ships.