Well then, take this! (paste)The Vega EngagementEvent Date:
April 9, 2332Outcome:
Decisive Vasudan victory
The Vega Engagement is the most widely-recognized name of the Third Battle of Vega, and is widely regarded as one of the most botched campaigns the GTA ever attempted to mount (save for the ill-fated Operation Midway
). It is also the first recorded battle in which a PVD Typhon
-class destroyer participated.Prelude to Invasion
Though the GTA 3rd Fleet had briefly succeeded in attacking Vega in the autumn of 2331 during Operation Cardinal Spear, the loss of the jump nodes to and from the Talnia system forced the 3rd Fleet to retreat to Beta Aquilae to avoid being cut off from supplies.
It should be noted that the 3rd Fleet did leave a Karnak
-class orbital facility around Vega II in ruins, which Vasudan subterfuge had led them to believe was a major shipyard facility. It was in fact an ore processing facility, not a shipyard in and of itself.
GTA Command found this out in November of 2331 with the capture of the Aten
-class PVC Djulran
, which had been built at a shipyard orbiting the third moon of Vega V. Upon learning that the Vasudans still had a viable shipyard so close to Terran space, the GTA Security Council and the Admiralty drew up Operations Dao and Jian for the invasion of Vega.Operation Dao
Operation Dao came first. Its objective was to mislead the Vasudans about the Terran fleet's disposition and intentions.
The 3rd and 4th Fleets both entered Vega, but while the 4th (led by the GTD Eisenhower
) moved to the system's outer fringes to await the order to attack, the 3rd (led by the GTD Agamemnon
) had to do the duty of two fleets at once, in order to keep the Vasudans confused.
The first few raids went well, but the Vasudans began to catch on to the Terran subterfuge. Eventually, a Vasudan pilot crashed his explosives-laden Amun
-class bomber into the side of the Agamemnon
, decompressing an entire section of the ship and leaving a rather large hole that the Terrans' vigorous attack plans would not let them repair.
The Vasudans knew there were two fleets in system by the number of supplies coming through the Beta Aquilae node. But they were apparently only engaging one of them, rather than the two they originally thought they had been. They brought in the Typhon
-class PVD Victory
from Deneb, completed only a month before at the orbital shipyards in Vasuda and equipped with the newest and deadliest fighters, bombers, and weaponry.Arrogance and Disaster
Admiral Bryant, commander of the Eisenhower
, nearly laughed himself out of his chair at the Vasudans' new destroyer design. In his words (recovered from black box recordings) "...it looks more like a fragile sculpture than a warship." Thinking it was a minimal threat to the Eisenhower
and its fleet, Bryant gave the order to commence Operation Jian.
Almost immediately upon the Eisenhower
entering range of the Vasudan shipyards, the Victory
jumped in at close range, emptying a fusillade of weaponry at the bewildered Terrans and taking comparably low damage from the Eisenhower
's guns. Bombers and fighters streamed out of the Victory
and pummeled cruiser after cruiser into oblivion.
quickly got wind of its sister ship's predicament and, leading the 3rd Fleet, jumped in to rescue the 4th. Unfortunately, it was too late for the Eisenhower
, which was completely obliterated by Vasudan bombers shortly afterwards, along with its foolhardy Admiral Bryant.
attempted to lead a retreat away from the area, but its engine was damaged as it entered subspace and it emerged, disabled, about 8000 kilometers away from the battle. Several Terran cruisers followed the Agamemnon
in an effort to defend it, but the Vasudans quickly deciphered their transmissions and followed them.Gallantry and Retreat
Despite receiving heavy damage, the Leviathan
-class GTC Foundation
managed to fight off several waves of Vasudan fighters and bombers, with the help of the tattered remnants of the ill-fated GTD Eisenhower
's fighter complement. This gallant defense gave the crippled GTD Agamemnon
time to repair its fighterbay and subspace drive, and rally the scattered survivors of the 3rd and 4th Fleets.
The GTC's Foundation
then assisted a hodge-podge strike force from the Agamemnon
in counterattacking the PVD Victory
, in hopes that it would be delayed and unable to pursue them. The strike was a partial success, as it deprived the Victory
of a significant portion of its fighter force, but did not inflict significant damage to the Victory
, as at the time no one in the GTA knew of any critical weaknesses in the Typhon
and the remnants of the 3rd and 4th Fleets were forced to fight their way past a sizable Vasudan blockade to escape to Terran space. The GTC Foundation
was instrumental in holding off the PVD Victory
's pursuit, going so far as to park itself directly in the Victory
ended up being physically towed out of the way, allowing the Victory
to catch up to the damaged Agamemnon
in Beta Aquilae. The near-dead Foundation
dogged the Victory
anyway.The Khendu Incident
As it turned out, the Victory
's CO, Admiral Khendu, disobeyed direct orders from both the Vasudan Military Directorate, and the Parliament itself, in order to pursue the Agamemnon
into Beta Aquilae. He had then neglected to inform his crew of the matter and had ordered radio silence.
The GTC Foundation
(as well as a pair of fighters it housed on external docking collars) ended up working alongside a set of Vasudan deep operatives from N'airaskh
to deliver the true orders to the Victory
's crew, and capture Admiral Khendu. As such the Foundation
and its crew were temporarily branded as traitors to the GTA and were forced to fight for their lives alongside the elite N'airaskh cruiser and fighters.
Khendu was subdued by members of his bridge crew, upon their hearing of his deception, and the Victory
immediately recalled all fighters and headed back to Vega. The Vasudan operatives escorted them home.
This happened just in time to save the GTD Agamemnon
from destruction. The Foundation
's traitor status was revoked, and the Agamemnon
limped back to an Alshain orbital facility for extensive repairs, with the Foundation
escorting it. Aftermath
The Vega Engagement was one of the last major battles of the T-V War, setting up a three-year-long period of attrition and overall static boundaries, with Vega, Sirius, and Antares contested. Almost everything to one side or the other of those systems remained under the reasonably firm control of GTA or PVN forces (with the exception of raiding parties, usually on the part of the Vasudans).I gave a nod to Ace's Cardinal Spear campaigns by mentioning the Agamemnon. The Foundation will be making several major appearances in my campaign, ETF. And of course Cordova Sr. is its captain. 8)
djulran is a type of demon from Vasudan mythology. It had the head of a monstrous carnivore (complete with menacing, pointy teeth), and the overall body structure of a particularly muscular Vasudan male, but with an
apsu-hek scale carapace and long bone claws. Djulrakh were known for their love of tearing their foes' limbs off one by one and eating them, so naming a cruiser after a djulran is clearly meant to inspire fear.
"Jian" is the Chinese word for a type of straight sword, while a "dao" is a type of curved sword. Given this, you can see why Terran Command thought it would make sense to name their operations this -- Operation Dao to do a curved, roundabout path to distract the Zods, and Operation Jian to go straight for the Shipyard when they least expected it.
One other thing: You might be wondering why the PVN decided to go easy on the GTA and let the Agamemnon and Foundation live. They were going to call for a week-long cease-fire so that the Terrans could have time to accept the terms of surrender. Naturally, the GTA refused.