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A FIGHT TO THE FINISH

Where: along the Back Door route, terminating at Ssuushni'a

What: a surprise naval engagement with the Kafers

The players will retrace their steps back to DM +5 3409, although there will be no need to lay over in a system beyond the time it takes for the frigate to discharge its stutterwarp drive coils and be refueled (these operations often being conducted simultaneously). They will meet with Deputy Director Shamus Larkin who is only too delighted to pay the player characters the agreed fees and present them with the fully repaired *Cat's Feet*.

Along with a Sachsen class frigate as an escort, the characters and Vish travel on to system DM -4 4225. Here, they are instructed to rendesvous with the huge Metal-class freighter they have previously encountered in this system. However, on this occasion the purpose of the freighter becomes clear.

The Metal is a modular bulk cargo carrier, incorporating 8 trailing clusters of nine cargo modules to haul its load. Each standard module provides a cargo volume of 742.5 cubic meters. However, this class of ship has been showing its age, and the great majority have been decommissioned and sold off by the original French owners.

Instead of seeing a dated freighter, however, the nations of the Alderhorst Alliance saw a potential stutterwarp tug with an extraordinary capacity. Buying up one of the ships, they constructed new `mega' modules for it to carry. These megamodules are externally similar to one of the nine module-clusters. However, the megamodule is one hull, without any internal dividing bulkheads. This means that the megamodules actually have a contiguous cargo volume of almost 6700 cubic meters each.

When outfitted with berthing cradles, this allows these megamodules to serve as detachable ship-carrying bays. Each such megamodule bay is capable of carrying up to 6 fighters, 2 small couriers (such as a Merkur), or even one whole Sachsen-class frigate.

In response to the Ylii request for assistance, the Alderhorst Alliance has decided to load up the Metal-class `tug' with an impressive number of vessels:

Megamodules 1-4: 4 Sachsen-class frigates (2 German, 1 Amer

-ican, and 1 Australian crew)

Megamodules 5-6: 9 fighters (6 American FS-17A, 3 German

Wespes) and one courier berth (empty)

Megamodule 7: Extra fuel tankage (full)

Megamodule 8: Ordnance, spares, and 4 sealed environ-

ment modules, currently housing 23

academic and government specialists

and 1 platoon of US Marines.

The sealed environment station modules are living and research modules that can be deployed in space or on a planet, each providing living and working space for up to 20 persons. Fitted with modular connectors, they can be joined into a ring and rotated, thereby providing the comfort of a spin-habitat when deployed spaceside.

Although the frigates and the *Cat's Feet* do not need the Metal-class freighter to make the remainder of the journey (no transit to Ssuushni'a involves a distance more than 7 light years), the fighters and and other equipment needs to be carried. Also, the logistics and refueling difficulties are lessened by employing the Metal as the `carrier' for the entire force.

Consequently, the Cat's Feet is snugged into module 6's empty courier berth and the journey begins.

Given the painfully slow speed of the Metal, this will be a long journey (probably just shy of three weeks). Fortunately, the fighter jocks and the characters are allowed to spend this time living in the comparative comfort of the sealed environment modules (back in megamodule 8).

Upon entering system SS -27 6854, the Metal-class will disgorge its considerable cargo, and refuel from Ylii tankers which will be sent by the Ylii leadership. The huge freighter will then depart the system. At this point, the referee may want to introduce a few military commander NPC's with whom the character's will be coordinating their actions.

After 6 days in-system, ships from the Ylii colonies in systems DK -33 1023 and DK +32 2390 will start arriving, reporting the movement of a small group of Kafer vessels through their space --apparently headed for Ssuushni'a itself. Four days later, sensors scattered above/below the system's ecliptic will report the arrival of several unidentified vessels of considerable size, all on a direct course for Ssuushni'a itself.

 

The Battle of Ssuushni'a

Date: June 22, 2303 (or whenever the ongoing player timeline indicates)

In the upcoming battle, the players might well wish to stay out of the fight, or at least, assume the role of the NPC commanders of the Allied fleet and the Ylii remote fighter operators. Due to the command range restrictions upon the Ylii combat craft, this will predominantly be a defensive fight centering around Ssuushni'a itself. However, the Kafer's have the disadvantage of not being able to distinguish the Ylii fighters from the other spherical craft of identical size that are also in orbit. Consequently, for every real Ylii remote fighter, there will be 4 `decoy' fighters that the Kafer's must consider. Of course, real fighters are permanently identified as soon as they begin to maneuver or shoot.

All the human ships available for this naval action are covered in the STAR CRUISER rules set. The only exception to this is the Cat's Feet itself, which is included here (Performance Characteristics are reprinted from Episode I of this adventure).

The Ylii vessel statistics and status sheets are printed in the DATA ANNEX at the end of this episode.

The Kafer vessels used in this adventure are found either in the STAR CRUISER rules set or the 2300AD supplement INVASION.


 Intruder Objective: The Kafers intend to use this weak task force to disrupt the Ylii homesystem and seed a small ground force in preparation for full takeover. Intruder Victory Conditions: Successfully get one lander to the surface of Ssuushni'a and withdraw the battleship from the playing space.

 

Intruder Forces:

1 damaged Alpha Class Battleship (w/ 21 Whiskey class mis

siles)

2 Foxtrot class fighters

1 Oscar class Transport

2 Lima class Landers

220 Kafer troops, including several vehicles


Native Objective: The Kafers must not learn (yet) that there is a human presence in the Ylii homesystem and that an alliance exists between the two forces. Native Objective: Destroy or immobilize the Kafer battleship before it can leave the playing space.

Native Forces:

4 Sachsen class frigates

6 FS-17A class fighters

3 Wespe class fighters

1 Merkur IIb class courier (*Cat's Feet*) (w/ 3 SIM-14 mis

siles)

7 Ylii RF8d `Fastball' class remote fighters

28 Ylii `decoy' Fastballs

Remote ordnance: 6 SR-10 missile packs, 3 SIM-14 missile packs (both are for use on the Sachsen-class), 4 Hyde Dynamic One-Mission Definite-Kill missiles, 2 HD-5 "Scout" Sensor Drones.

Note: any ordnance beyond that which can be controlled by the human ships can be taken over by the Ylii control net (which is outlined in the information for the Fastball Remote Fighter).

 

In general, this should be a turkey-shoot for the defenders. The Kafer battleship is already weakened and is not toting a full complement of missiles. This is because the Kafer Suzerain that is mounting this attack --V'Ded'Ah-- is reserving as much force as possible to support its bid for power in the wake of Triumphant Destiny's demise. The battleship's captain and crew are not expecting anything other than token resistance and are half-expecting that they'll be able to take this planet all by themselves. Consequently, when the humans emerge to attack (probably from behind the moons and Ssuushni'a itself) along with the Ylii, the Kafers are likely not to have the time --or inclination-- to think of aborting the mission and returning to report the human presence.

 

 

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Last modified: Sunday, March 12, 2000 07:21 PM