- Published: 26 March 2020
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Battlefield: Diving Deep (GM Information)
The second battle in the Bunyip system was indecisive. Called the Battle of St. Clair by optimists in the Fleet, the Terran Sphere forces under the command of Admiral Zehun were able to regain control of the planetary system of St. Clair, its moons, and its port station. Additionally, they’ve been able to establish sporadic contact with the Colony, enough to get a sense of the picture on the ground. However, they were unable to dislodge the Shohan from their position over New Detroit and the colony is beginning to face serious shortages at all levels. Fortunately, the admiral and their staff have a plan to finish the job.
In a few months time the orbits of New Detroit and St. Clair will bring them into a close alignment. Before then, Fleet engineers are rushing to repair and upgrade the massive transit lasers once used by the station to push light luggers inward. Meanwhile, the Terran Sphere is planning a relief drop to the colony to deliver critical supplies, troops, and a small cadre of scientists to help study the Blue Zones. As envisioned by Fleet planners, the heavier fleet elements will dive from St. Clair to Bunyip’s grav limit, launch a raiding force of Dragons and Bridgehead shuttles, before retreating to St. Clair and repositioning themselves along the grav shore on the opposite side of the planet to pick up the raiding force and dive back to St. Clair once more. The Dragons will be charged with covering the Bridgeheads as they make the radical deceleration maneuver needed to land on the planet, then scatter before the Dreadnaughts can fire on their landing zones. Once the Bridgeheads have made their landing, the Dragons will have to make their way out to the rendezvous point at the grav limit.
The resupply operation carries some significant risks. On approach, the ships are likely to face volleys of fire from the Shohan Dreadnaughts with limited ability to maneuver. They’ll have to trust their speed and their force fields to carry them through the barrage. Even on the planet, the LZs for the the ground force are all in Blue territory, hoping to capitalize on the Shohan reluctance to bombard these areas. The Terran Sphere marines and their auxiliary crews will have to make a quick march through the hazards of these zones to link up with the planetary militias. Up above, the Dragons will still need to extract themselves from the the engagement. For them, the most dangerous possibility is that the Shohan may use their jump drives to leapfrog ahead of departing forces, give themselves enough time to clear whatever disables the Shohan post jump and re-engage the fleeing craft; turning the quick raid into a gauntlet. Mission planners hope that the presence of heavier fleet elements waiting at the grav limit will deter this to a degree.
And of course, the is only the prelude the main event begins a few months later...
Beyond providing support to the beleaguered population of New Detroit, the primary objective of the resupply mission is to keep the Shohan focused on the planet and away from the work being done at Port Lernoult. When the system fell, the station was abandoned. The Shohan did a cursory job punching holes in it to disable its systems, including the transit lasers that were used to push light luggers in system and brake those coming out to the station. Now fleet technicians are working round the clock shifts to repair these behemoth laser rigs and upgrade them for Admiral Zehun’s plan. It is imperative that they finish on time for the close opposition (when one planet comes between another and its primary) of New Detroit and St. Clair, for there is only a short window for the attack to commence. A Shohan raid that managed to inflict additional damage to the transit laser complexes has the potential to be devastating, and it’s the duty first of the groundside fighters and observers to keep their attention, and then of the fleet elements guarding the station to prevent that from happening.
Admiral Zehun and their staff hope that with support from the Transit Laser Array their fleet can finally drive off the Shohan forces. If the Shohan commander is worth their salt, they’ll take steps to mitigate the Laser Array’s effectiveness. This could be a counter attack on the station that defending forces have to drive off. It might mean detailing a dreadnaught to jump out between the Port, and the raging battle and hold open a hyperspace portal that can absorb incoming fire. A final possibility is that the Shohan attempt to either maneuver through the Terran Forces, or even jump if necessary to the far side of New Detroit, imposing the colony between themselves and the Station’s fire. The player and GMs should feel free to consider these and additional options.