Part 36: Knockoffs
The enemy fleets are divided but closing fast. The PACT fleet consists of a battleship and carrier as well as ryder escorts, including a new unit.
PACT has their own version of the Liberty and Bianca now, and they are a huge pain. Every dirty trick weve pulled up until now? The turning off of flak to get missiles through, the dropping of shields to expose outriders to laser fire? The enemy can now do that, too.
The pirate fleet consists of bombers, destroyers, and basic ryders, but Cossette has also brought a new toy to this party. The Ironhog is a beefed-up bomber: instead of firing one torpedo, it can fire barrages of five torpedoes. Fortunately each one only has two barrages, but in conjunction with the support ryders dropping our anti-missile defenses, they can pose a serious threat to the Sunrider.
Ive made a few upgrades of my own, though, including extending the Sunriders shields. This formation probably isnt the most optimal, but every one of our units is now covered by at least two shield bubbles. In addition, Ive boosted several ryders energy reactors, meaning that, among other things, Sola and Kryska can use their kinetic weapons twice a turn.
This lets Sola drop the battleship to half health completely on her own ...
so Kryska can finish it off.
With the screen out of the way and Chigara turning off the carrier, theres no more flak protecting the support ryder.
Unfortunately they are not complete pushovers..
With a torpedo from the Sunrider, the PACT fleet has almost been taken out in the first turn.
Asaga finishes it off.
God damnit. Disable Lite drops our energy to half for the next turn.
Fortunately, they didnt coordinate well enough with the pirates, and with flak intact we only take one hit from the first torpedo barrage.
With enemy support ryders on the field, the Bianca suddenly becomes a lot more important.
One support ryder is destroyed with rockets and the other is turned off completely by Chigara.
PACT reinforcements arrive, but they make the mistake of showing up within kinetic range.
Sola and the Sunrider take care of them before they even know what hit them.
Ironhogs dont have shields.
Icari goes out and slices a ryder, leaving just a handful of units opposing us.
Until they get even more reinforcements.
Okay, you know what? Screw this.
Claude drags one ryder into retaliation range, which is enough to kill it, and Icari slices up the other one. Shes a bit exposed out there, but Im sure shell be fine.
Shit. Sorry, Icari.
Fortunately with our new command point ability shes good as new next turn.
More reinforcements in the form of a carrier and two battleships arrive.
Time to bring out the torpedoes. Also pictured, me not learning a single damn thing from last time and sending Icari out again. Fortunately with some accuracy debuffs she avoids eating any more torpedoes.
Sola finishes off the carrier, and after that its just mop up.
The Alliance fleet is steadily gaining on the enemy.
Open a channel to the PACT flagship.
You overestimate yourself, captain, but you have quite an interesting vessel. I believe it was instrumental in winning the Battle of Far Port, was it not?
Captain, we're detecting new warp signatures!
Capable of both lightning strikes and long range operations. Quite impressive, considering it was designed by a single Neutral Rim world. Look familiar? Now, imagine not a single prototype vessel, but an entire fleet of them built with the resources of all the worlds of the People's Alliance!
This is the end for you, captain.
Regroup our forces! Engage the new ships!
The PACT knockoff of the Sunrider combines the firepower of a battleship with the ability of a carrier to spawn a new ryder every turn.
The fourth and final new unit of this battle is the PACT elite, a souped-up grunt ryder.
This looks bad, but Fontana has made two critical errors in his deployment. First, he warped in too close to the Sunrider, well inside minimum range for the kinetics. And second
He lined his ships up all nicely.
Bad move, Fontana.
The rest of the battle is pretty straightforward, with just one rude surprise when I have the Bianca drag a PACT elite into Icaris retaliation range.
Not only does her counterfire fail to do significant damage
But the elites also have a melee attack.
Fortunately, only one wave of reinforcements complicates things. Finally
All enemy units in range destroyed, captain.The main Alliance fleet is still entangled with the enemy, but the remaining Alliance vessels of the defense screen are burning hard and will be here in a few minutes.
Fontana! It's over! Your new toys are gone. Surrender, or we'll scrap your entire fleet!
No. It is our victory.
New pirate signatures detected!
From ... inside the Ongess habitat stations!
All ryders! It's go time!
Im showing enemy ryders emerging from the orbital habitats! They must have been hiding inside them all this time!
Heh. Fontana and the pirate fleets were just decoys! Now the Combined Fleet's as vulnerable as sitting ducks!
Ava, show me the tactical situation, now!
Cosette and a battalion of bomber ryders are approaching from the orbital habitats. Time until they intercept our docks: 4 minutes.
Reverse course! Intercept Cosette and her bombers!
There's no way we'll make it back in time!
How disappointing, captain. I expected more from the victor of Far Port. In one fell swoop, every Alliance ship of the Combined Fleet will be cast into the hellfire of the very resource they sought to steal from Ongess. Poetic justice, is it not? A fitting end to their colonial ambitions in the Neutral Rim. Just as the Imperials before them, they will fall not to our cannon fire, but to their own greed. For their systematic exploitation of the weak is but a cancer which will eventually consume their body, unless it is cleansed with fire. Now, captain, behold PACT's true goal! The eradication of the imperialists and the birth of our new galactic order!
The Ongessite tanks are in range! This is for you, captain. You were always my favorite.