Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Wargaming the Battle of Austa

The Austa system (Magyar 2503) represented the last high population world in Anise subsector that had been untouched by Admiral Kemper’s Magyar offensive. In 1000 the mainworld was the highest population world in the entire sector, with 90 billion inhabitants. A second major world, Geaamshuu, had over 2 billion inhabitants.

The Austa system was first explored by the Vilani during the Ziru Sirka, who named the mainworld Karikmir. And although both Karikmir and Geaamshuu have abundant water and orbit within the habitable zone of Nagishar, the G2 V primary, both worlds had dense carbon dioxide-nitrogen atmospheres with a notable absence of free oxygen. The Vilani established an outpost on Karikmir but did not attempt to colonize either world.

The Terran Confederation assumed control of the system late in the Interstellar Wars, and Confederation terraformers introduced genetically modified algae to both Karikmir and Geaamshuu, producing breathable atmospheres on both worlds by the end of the Rule of Man. Terran colonists flocked to the system and began settling Karikmir and Geaamshuu in earnest. Lacking an asteroid belt, the colonists thoroughly explored the system over the following centuries, establishing mining bases on several other planets and moons.

During the Long Night Austa became a major power in the region, rivaling both the Tolson Interstellar Kingdom and Tralp, though its general reach had been greatly curtailed by the time the Imperium entered into the region. By 400 Austa was an impoverished, over-populated, TL 8 planet eager to join the Third Imperium. By 700 disappointment in Imperial rule led Austa to embrace the Solomani Movement; with assistance from the government of the Autonomous Region the economy of Austa finally began to improve, increasing its technology level from 9 to 12 in just 200 years.

Although the majority of the system’s population is Solomani, a small Vilani minority appeared during the Long Night, refugees from worlds conquered by Tralp and reavers. These newcomers were shunted to Geaamshuu and the mines on Dikhii, the innermost world.

The Austa System (circa 1000)
Orbit
Radius (AU)
NameUWPRemarks
PrimaryNagisharG2 V
0.32DikhiiFDB5669-8Mi Pe Tz
0.5UkaalimY9C4000-0Tz
0.71GeaamshuuF5879DF-4Ho
1.01Austa (Karikmir)B796AAA-DHi In
1.98KiselinaY6CA000-0Co
2.82ZamruznalY9A3100-5
TopkaH200457-7Mi Sa Lk
4.53ChervenLGG
Cherven AyY300000-0Sa Lk
Cherven BeeY100000-0Sa Lk
SofiaY301100-8Fr Sa Lk
Cherven EyeY202000-0Fr Sa Lk
Cherven EnY433000-0Fr Sa
Cherven YuY202000-0Fr Sa
9.02OranzhevLGG
Oranzhev EffY425000-0Fr Sa Lk
Oranzhev VeeY336000-0Fr Sa
PolyaG414244-5Mi Fr Sa
15.15ZelenLGG
RositsaY300254-9Mi Sa Lk
GenadiH10048A-9Mi Sa Lk
KrasimirY20426B-8Fr Mi Sa
25.76ZhultLGG
Zhult BeeY100000-0Sa Lk
Zhult EeY100000-0Sa Lk
Zhult GeeY202000-0Fr Sa Lk
Zhult ArrY200000-0Sa
Zhult ExY100000-0Sa
38.64MoyataHCB4664-7Mi

Order of Battle

Austa’s enormous population supported formidable defenses, including 24 separate wings of system defense boats and a squadron of large planetoid monitors. The great dilemma that faced the Austan commanders, though, was how best to defend settlements dispersed so widely across the system. In a compromise, 5 wings were dispatched to the gas giant Zelen, 9 wings were positioned at Geaamshuu, and the remainder were placed at Austa along with the Austan system squadrons. No regular Confederation units were available.

Solomani Confederation Units
UnitTLJRating
Austan SDB Wing 11300-2-2
Austan SDB Wing 21300-2-2
Austan SDB Wing 31300-2-2
Austan SDB Wing 41300-2-2
Austan SDB Wing 51300-2-2
Austan SDB Wing 61300-2-2
Austan SDB Wing 71300-2-2
Austan SDB Wing 81300-2-2
Austan SDB Wing 221300-2-2
Austan SDB Wing 231300-2-2
Austan AssautRon1330-0-4
Austan Monitor Squadron1305-1-2
Austan PatRon1333-1-2

Admiral Kemper committed most of the 4th and 18th Fleets to the assault, which she herself directed. Her plan called for a carefully coordinated jump of units from Guenivier (Magyar 2505) and Ferstenberg (2704). She hoped that the presence of such a large Imperial force would result in the surrender of the system without a fight.

Imperial Units
UnitTLJRating
285th BatRon1446-5-6
337th BatRon1446-3-6
894th BatRon1334-1-4
214th CarRon1441-1-5
265th CruRon1442-1-3
810th CruRon1330-3-5
355th BatRon1445-3-7
106th CarRon1441-1-4
293rd CarRon1331-1-4
484th BatRon1446-1-3
568th BatRon1444-0-4
2542nd Colonial BatRon1334-1-4
926th BatRon1334-1-4
355th CruRon1443-0-3
484th BatRon1446-1-3
Sternbach Colonial CruRon1332-0-2
115th TankRon1440-0-4
155th TankRon1440-0-4
244th TankRon1330-0-4

Resolution

Unfortunately for Admiral Kemper, the Ferstenberg task force arrived in-system several hours ahead of the Guenivier task force, jumping just outside the 100-diameter limit of the mainworld. Austan defenses were scrambled to engage the invaders, and were surprised when the Guenivier task force emerged from jump space. While the Ferstenberg task force engaged the SDB wings, the Guenivier task force focused on the squadrons

  • Turn 1
    • Attack
      • Imperial Ferstenberg task force rolls 6
      • Austan SDB wings roll 1
      • Imperial Guenivier task force rolls 1
      • Austan squadrons roll 2
    • Damage
      • SDB wings 22, 23 eliminated
      • 265th CruRon eliminated
      • Austan AssaultRon eliminated
      • No damage
  • Turn 2
    • Attack
      • Imperial Ferstenberg task force rolls 1
      • Austan SDB wings roll 3
      • Imperium Guenivier task force rolls 1
      • Austan squadrons roll 4
    • Damage
      • SDB wing 8 eliminated
      • Stenbach CruRon eliminated
      • Austan PatRon eliminated
      • 355th CruRon eliminated
  • Turn 3
    • Attack
      • Imperial Ferstenberg task force rolls 2
      • Austan SDB wings roll 1
      • Imperial Guenivier task force rolls 2
      • Austan squadrons roll 2
    • Damage
      • SDB wing 7 eliminated
      • No damage
      • Austan monitor squadron eliminated
      • No damage
  • Turn 4
    • Imperium conslidates forces
    • Attack
      • Imperial squadrons rolls 6
      • Austan SDB wings roll 4
    • Damage
      • SDB wings 6 and 5 eliminated
      • Eliminates 568th BatRon
  • Turn 5
    • Attack
      • Imperial squadrons rolls 5
      • Austan SDB wings roll 3
    • Damage
      • SDB wings 4 and 3 eliminated
      • No damage
  • Turn 6
    • Attack
      • Imperial squadrons rolls 3
      • Austan SDB wings roll 1
    • Damage
      • SDB wings 2 and 1 eliminated
      • No damage

After Action Report

With the mainworld defenses defeated, the Imperial force moved quickly to destroy the orbital highport before regrouping and jumping outsystem, bound for Anise. While the primary mission objective had been achieved, attrition was beginning to take a toll on the Imperial squadrons: a scant 14 weeks after entering Magyar sector, Kemper’s CruRons were particularly thin and two disabled Inkaalurs needed to be scuttled and left behind. Had all of the Austan SBD wings been massed around the mainworld Kemper’s force would have have been unlikely to have assailed the starport.

The two task forces began methodically combing through Anise subsector, destroying all Class A and B starports they encountered. The rich worlds of Amunet (2507), Milenky (2603), Lontarelli (2801), and Sweet (2901) all fell rapidly to Kemper’s raiders, and were followed by the pre-high population worlds of Volund (2607) and Typoer (3210). Pinnock (2701) and Waldrin (2910) both surrendered without a fight. The success and tempo of the Imperial operation at times outpaced resupplies, and as squadrons depleted nuclear missiles they improvised with mass drivers to destroy targets.

Kemper demonstrated the fundamental weakness of Magyar’s planetary defense forces. Prior to her invasion, most of the systems in Beta and Delta quadrants faced few threats beyond piracy, occasional Aslan raids, or (more likely) hostilities from neighboring Confederation systems. As such they had relatively limited system and planetary defences, lacking deep meson gun sites, nuclear dampers, or city-sized meson screens. The planetary navies rarely drilled with Solomani regular forces and were generally unprepared for fighting a TL 14 force.

Once Kemper had broken the Confederation naval forces in Anise subsector, the Solomani worlds were essentially defenseless, allowing her to reduce industrial and infrastructure targets at will. This vulnerability which would eventually lead to the creation of the Home Guard following the war.

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