Some of the more entertaining aspects of this campaign have occured when the players post "in character". This began with Jason Weiser and his [RP Moment] posts and has spread to include many of the other players as they post 'character reactions' to the various news posts that are generated as the turns are resolved. While the shorter passages of role-playing are included in the Turn Reports, the longer passages will be showcased here, in the War Diaries.
War Diaries will be an outlet in which fan fiction relating to the the backdrop of the campaign can be showcased. I would like it to take the form of page / entry excerpts from the diaries of persons in the conflict (service or civilian) or ship logs. Regardless of the source, it should be about some (important) event experienced during the campaign. Anyone posting to the War Diaries will retain full ownership and copyright, and the excerpts will be noted as such.
In the Flag Bridge of the MSN BB Beijing: ADM Lain XI Shilong unconsciously adjusted his chair harness as he intently watched as the chaos of the opening moments of the Second Battle of Dunkelheim unfolded in the tactical display. The Allied Task Group had planned to enter Dunkelheim and surprise the Kafers while they where still "Dumb". They hoped to disable or destroy the Kafer ships with massed missile volleys before they could react. The plan was solid and ready for any contingency. The only factor Humanity could not control was luck and who she would favor. Unfortunately for Humanity, this day started off with luck favoring the Kafers.
"Flag - TAC Lt. Hun… Admiral, task group feeds have confirmed 8 Kafer Battleships of various classes, 8 Epsilon Class Missile Cruisers and at least 8+ Golf fighter contacts in Dunkelhiem's g-gradient. All Bandits are illuminating with active sensors and making best speed to intercept." Admiral Shilong taped his fingers on the tactical display in front of him and turned to his second VAdm Zheng Mingxiong, "The Bugs have the jump on us and the fleet cannot deploy our fighter screen. We are also on our own because we are to far from the Ukrainians to pair up and mass our fires. (Lian smiled at Zheng) Just like when we fought together against the MSIF… situation desperate and on our own… I feel sorry for the Bugs."
Burst Traffic from HMS Brittania arrives to MSN Beijing Com Officer Yin.
"Flag - COM Ensign Yin… Sir, Message from HMS Brittania, TGCOM, 'Humanity expects that every man will do his duty.' On hearing the message Admiral Shilong straighten his posture, adjusted his vacsuit and fingered the Command Channel switch to his headset - "This is Admiral Shilong to Fleet. Message from Brittania, TGCOM, 'Humanity expects that everyman will do his duty." Taking a deep breath Shilong continued, "We now engage a menace that threatens our home and our children - all of Humanity's children. We cannot allow this evil to continue or flourish. Today as a united race we strike the first hammer blow in Humanity's march to make the stars safe. We will persevere and be victorious! I know you will do your duty and will make Humanity proud! God Protect Us All. Initiate Plan Delta, all ships sensors active, aim true and strike hard!"
The Human fleet, including the Battleship Beijing and her escorts, vectored toward the Kafer battle group still unseen in the darkness of space. The Allied fleet maneuvered quickly, decisively and with clear purpose…even when faced with extreme diversity.
Burst Traffic from HMS Brittania arrives to MSN Beijing Com Officer Yin
"Flag - COM Ensign Yin… Sir, Message from TGCOM, 'TF Beijing to engage target Lima Omega 005'."
ADM Lian XI Shilong nodded, "Send Confirmation - TF Beijing Engaging. Transmit to TAC target data and engage."
In the TAC, Lt. Hun transmitted all target data to the fleet "All ships prepare to engage Target Lima Omega 005." Hun waited until the tight beam message was confirmed, "All ships will fire full salvo on my mark, 3, 2, 1, MARK - FIRE!"
Twenty-three missiles screamed a silent song of death as they where released from the launchers of the taskforce. The target acquisition computers of each ship worked feverishly to triangulate the data to be sent to the remote stations controlling the Fan-tan anti-ship missiles. After several long minutes, far out in the void the missiles began their detonation sequence.
The void of space did not seem to be empty this day as over two hundred objects maneuvered, released missiles and fired lances of light at one another. A dance of death was being performed between beings enclosed in metal shells. Death would be violent and come quick in the void this day.
The Beijing and her escorts continued to fire long range missile salvos at target Lima Omega 005 - a Kafer Beta class Battle cruiser. The Kafer escorts defeated many of the missiles, yet several Fan-tans found their mark. The Battle cruiser refused to yield and continued advancing towards the Beijing. The Kafer battle group in turn fired salvoes of Whiskey missiles at the Manchurian fleet with each deadly salvo being defeated by the concentrated fire of point defense lasers. Through the chaos of the exchange a second Kafer Beta Battle Cruiser joined Lima Omega 005 and set her sights on the Beijing.
The Allied plan was to keep the Kafer Capital ships at long range, avoiding a 'knife fight' with beams, by continually yielding ground to the advancing enemy. This 'shooting and scooting' tactic was serving the Allies well by maximizing humanity's missile advantage and minimizing the return fire damage. The Kafers had lost 2 Missile Cruisers to the RSN and DSKM early on. The Allies had not yet lost any ships, but as the Kafer Behemoth Battleships and cruisers closed, that too would change.
Admiral Shilong studied the taskforce information displayed in front of him. The taskforce frigates Sipeng, Yiben and Changchun had expended their missile magazines. The destroyers Xichang, Jian and his flag Beijing where down to 1 missile salvo apiece. The space to maneuver was quick running out and the Beta Battle Cruiser continued to close. The situation was quickly becoming a knife fight sooner than Shilong would like or even wanted. The Manchurian naval doctrine and ship design supported a raiding strategy. ADM Shilong knew his ships, excluding the Beijing, would not last long against ships of the line as the likes of the Kafer Battle cruiser and her escorts. As for the situation for the rest of the task group, the tactical plot display showed all Allied taskforces where furiously engaged with Kafer battle groups or squadrons. Calls for assistance from Allied ships were heard but no single formation or ship could disengage to provide immediate help anywhere in the battle line. This battle was going to be determined by no grand maneuver or tactical genius. This battle was going to be a battle of wills and brute force.
"Flag - TAC Lt. Hun… We have detected a second Beta joining Lima Omega 005, we are designating this target Lima Omega 009." ADM Shilong saw his tactical display update with the icon representing the new threat. "Well Zheng, we seem to be popular this day with the Bugs today." Shilong said to his second in command. Zheng nodded "We will not last long against those two Betas." Shilong silently agreed. He knew that the chances of fending off the concentrated beam and missile fire of the two Battle Cruisers would be difficult at best. His lightly armed frigates and destroyers would be crushed if he could not disable one of the two Battle Cruisers quickly. He knew he had to "hold the line" as long as he could to buy time for the other Allied Taskforces. If Beijing could tie up the two Betas and their escorts it would by considerable time for the Allies. ADM Shilong understood his taskforce would pay dearly, but he knew it was his duty. Shilong turned to his friend and second in command, "Zheng, we have no other opinions. We cannot outrun the Betas anymore unless we disengage and we know our duty. So it seems we must strike at the 'heart of the dragon'." ADM Shilong keyed his headset "HELM - bring the Fleet to heading mark 050, 210, best speed."
"Zheng we will need to sharpen our knives - this fight is going to be dirty and will be bloody."
"12 Vampires in bound, Mark 056, 210, -230, 5MK. Point Defense Engaging." announced Lt Hu from the Beijing Tactical Action Center.
Invisible beams of light pulsed from the laser batteries of the taskforces ships into the void. Ten Whiskey missiles disintegrated under the silent assault and exploded harmless away from the taskforce. Two Whiskey missiles made it through the defensive fire and detonated in two brilliant thermonuclear explosions that directed gamma-rays of lethal energy at BB Beijing and FF Sipeng. The FF Sipeng was struck by the full force of the directed gamma-rays and was crippled immediately. The frigates atmosphere vented, hull sections collapsed, and the ships reactor was spiking to critical. The crew of the Sipeng immediately began to abandon ship to save those souls lucky enough to be alive. The Beijing faired much better and suffered very light damage as the hull armor stopped the majority of the gamma energy.
"The Sipeng is crippled and Captain Tzunhu has ordered abandon ship. "
"Sensors cluttered with multiple Bandits, Vampires, Det-fields, not including Allied ships and munitions. We are having trouble detecting and determining targeting data on incoming munitions!" Lt. Hu announced. Intent on making sense out of the garbled sensor data, Lt. Hu was startled as Six Whiskey missiles emerged from behind the radiation debris field of the last Kafer salvo. "My God… Vampires! Mark 030, 246, - 230! 2MK. Six Whiskeys initiating detonation sequence!!!"
In a split second the Six Whiskey missiles exploded their thermo-nuclear warheads in brilliant red-white blossoms of death. Lethal Gamma-rays from the Whiskeys raced towards the BB Beijing, DD Xichang, and FF Yiben destined to exacting devastating effects. The Beijing was design to withstand considerable punishment and shrugged of much of the energy directed at her. Unfortunately, Lady Luck turned her back on the Beijing and her shutterwarp drives where shattered immediately immobilizing the battleship. The Xichang, orbiting in close proximity of the Beijing, suffered a series of hits in the stern that nearly sheared her engineering section off. The Xichang started an uncontrolled spin that the courageous crew fought to control. The most catastrophic effect was caused to the unfortunate Yiben. The Yiben suffered a score of hits that immediately caused her to explode in a violent flash of vented atmosphere and a ruptured reactor.
"Flag - Bridge Captain Lee - Admiral, damage control parties report that the drives have suffered considerable damage and are offline. Chief Engineer Faun will assess damage, but believes he will not be able to bring the drives back online. We have only maneuvering thrusters currently."
Name of the Battle suggested by Keven J. Passage is copyright © 2002 by Chris Johnston
The vac suited figures glided along the silent, dark cargo bay. It was probably more sensible to use their mag boots, but there was still an atmosphere aboard, and her Kafer crew would hear the sounds of such boots moving across the deck plates.
A young Marine private, his gray-blue and black mottled suit making him look like a night wraith with a bubble head, kneeled with some effort in front of the airlock leading to the "personnel section" aboard the Kafer freighter. He was attaching a shaped charge, with two of his mates covering him from the "ceiling".
"FIRE IN THE HOLE. FIRE IN THE HOLE, FIRE IN THE HOLE." the radio cried, and the door blew into the Kafer held side with a loud KARUMPF, which could be heard even in the weak atmosphere of the cargo bay.
The explosion was answered by several amber streams of tracers, which reached out like fingers of death and stitched a young sergeant across the chest of his vacc suit, and a Kafer "27" grenade hit his faceplate dead on and the shaped charge blew in his faceplate. A laser reached out and amputated a young private's left leg below the knee, and she spun around, screaming in agony over the unit comms.
Lefitch swore " Alpha section, get a gawdamned hatch clearer in there and move those damn Kafers, NOW!"
Hearing the command. Two men moved up as one, one on either side of the hatch, having used the various alien crates as cover. They worked their way to either side of the hatch, and set their auto shotguns, affectionately known as "Super Trench Brooms" or "STBs" to full cyclic and “sprayed and prayed” the opposite side of the hatchway, then reloaded with grenade rounds and repeated the process, this led to a notable lack of fire from the other side of the hatch, though there was still some.
A two man Kasakia "Shorty" team moved up, and though the assistant went down to a round to his knee, the gunner managed to set up a wall of grazing fire onto the welded obstacle set up at the end of a "Y" corridor in front of the hatch.
This continued for a few more seconds as four more men, two on either side moved up to the hatchway. They waited for the Kasakia gunner to give the thumbs up and then they made their way down the hall, pumping concussion grenades into the barricade as they went.
When they reached the barricade, they found three dead Kafers, two with Thud Guns, and one with a Flashlight. But, then, one stirred, and lunged with a knife at a Marine whom had his back turned. Another Marine shot the Kafer with his M-4 until he went down, then walked over and put three shots into the head and chest. The process was repeated on the other two bodies.
With the first obstacle out of the way, the assault force branched out, 1st and Second squads to the Bridge of the freighter, and 3rd Squad to Engineering. 6th MIU would put a platoon aboard behind SAP to cover the entry point in the hold, having already received the "Cupcake" signal.
3rd Squad took Engineering with little effort, as all the Kafers there died when the beam from the SIM-14 had opened a 7-foot by 2 foot wide gash and had explosively decompressed the ship. Most of the Kafers had died fumbling for their vacc suits. Pressure Safe GQ was obviously an alien concept to them.
The Bridge, however, was another matter, as 1st and 2nd squad ran into another hasty barricade with another three Kafers, this time armed with Donderbuses and Horse pistols. Leftich, leading his platoon like a model Marine Lieutenant, died when he took a Donderbus grenade to the abdomen, two more men were cut down with him as well, the Gunnery Sergeant, by the name of Folkes, took command, and led a three man to under cover of smoke and Kasakia fire, to close with and kill the Kafers via hand to hand.
As they neared the bridge, an automatic defense laser popped from the ceiling and two more Marines died, neatly decapitated by the amber beam, before a sniper took the weapon out. The doors were dealt with by another shaped charge, but it only served to buckle the doors, a Stiletto II had to be used to blow the door down.
When the door was breached, a hail of fire greeted the Marines, and half of the breaching party, 4 strong, went down like sacks of groceries, dead or wounded. The Marines, at this point, not caring about their admonition to "seize the ship intact", pumped 30mm Frag after 30mm Frag into the open door. It was anti-climatic. The Kafer fire slackened, then ended, and the Marines again went through the compartment, "securing" Kafer bodies as they went. Kafer individuals and booby traps would kill and wound another 5 Marines, and one ASF C-SAR specialist for hours after the successful boarding.
For a crew of 10 Kafers, the Marines and ASF had lost 12 men dead or wounded, almost 1 for 1 with the Kafers, and this had been a Merchant vessel. What would actually taking a warship entail?
Name of the Battle suggested by Chris Johnston. Passage is copyright © 2003 by Jason WeiserThese web pages developed and maintained by Terry A. Kuchta