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Friday, January 27, 2017

Star Wars Armada: Dodonna's Raid

Part of our 2nd run of the Corellian Conflict

The holodisplay sputtered then came to life. General Jan Dodonna blinked twice, before processing what he saw. The hyperlane near Raider’s Pointe was supposed to be filled with Imperial freighters and independent merchant ships fat with supplies and raw resources. Instead, he saw a combat fleet lying in wait. Was it a trap? Bad luck? He didn’t have time to consider the possibilities before a young lieutenant turned to him:

“Sir? What are your orders?” the woman, no older than 20, was calm, but a slight tremor in her voice betrayed the fear she suppressed.

Jan thought for one moment. He knew his Strike Force was ready. He surveyed the enemy fleet: an aging Victory class Star Destroyer, and a handful of cruisers and corvettes. They were spilling forth fighters now, but they didn’t concern him. Captain Ors had assembled the fighter wing, and organized it into two groups. The X-wing escorts under the leadership of Biggs Darklighter, and the bomber group under Norra Wexley. He knew they could best the Imperial fighters given the chance, and his own ships were more than a match for the Imperial vessels, likely doomed to endless patrols. Aging equipment and bored, un-motivated crews. Jan liked his odds. He leaned forward and thumbed a button on his console.


“Squadron leaders report in.” His voice echoed through his command ship. Responses came swiftly but calmly.

“Blue Squadron, standing by”, Biggs was the first to respond.

“Green Squadron, ready”, Norra barely contained her excitement.

“Lock S-Foils in attack positions”, now Jan Ors spoke, her command sounding more like a victory declaration than an order.

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Jan smiled faintly as he watched the receding engine glow of the best squadrons the Rebel Alliance had to offer. He found his mind wandering briefly as he listened to the chatter between the bomber command center set up on one of the Gallifrey transports and the accelerating squadrons. They discussed approach vectors, and warhead combinations in the practiced manner of professionals. Out of the viewport, Dodonna watched the fighter wing split in two: Y-Wings heading towards the growing triangular silhouette of the enemy flagship, and the X-Wings breaking towards the Assault Frigate, who had been ordered to screen the fleet.

Moments later, the Y-Wings’ ordnance slammed into the Star Destroyer. Even at this distance, Dodonna could see the flashing azure as the flagship’s shields struggled to regenerate. He knew it couldn’t withstand the onslaught for long. Thanks to an in-depth briefing on enemy combat capabilities by Walex Blissex, who designed the vessel he now skirmished with, the whole of the alliance knew exactly what the enemy ship was and was not capable of.

The bulk of the Assault Frigate accelerated across the front of the Rebel fleet. It was now in range of the enemy’s turbo lasers, dodging surprisingly well for the mass of the vessel. It let loose a crippling volley into the Victory, who’s shields were now entirely down. As explosions wracked the superstructure of the Imperial command ship, a torrent of return fire raked into the Assault Frigate and was joined by further fire from the enemy Arquitens class cruiser. The two relics of the Clone Wars must have hit vital systems, as the Assault Frigate suddenly listed to one side, and appeared to be venting atmosphere.

In the confused moments to follow the Assault Frigate, now struggling to maneuver and cut off by another one of the enemy’s corvettes, became entangled with the Victory as both vessels’ went through the death throes of great beasts brought down by fire raging within. The bright mess of debris and ignited gas was almost beautiful as twinkling specks of light radiated out from the spectacle illuminated in reds, oranges, and deep crackling greens. The escape pods now streaked away from the wreckage where survivors and captives alike would be collected by the victor.

Dodonna overheard comm chatter as fighters took down an enemy cruiser, and were then engaged by a significant enemy force. One by one Rebel X-Wings were decimated, and winked out of existence on the holo-display. Jan Ors took heavy fire, and was forced to eject moments before her HWK-290 was torn apart. The Nebulon B escort frigate came under intense fire from it’s Starboard side. As a precaution, the captain launched the escape pods though a skeleton crew remained in an effort to navigate the ship to safety. As a bomber wing vectored in on the crippled ship, Norra Wexley sped towards them to tie them up, allowing the Nebulon B just enough time to slip out of the fray.

The battle ended as quickly as it had begun. The remaining Imperial ships: a pair of Gozanti cruisers, a Raider corvette, and an Arquitens light cruiser broke the blockade and jumped to hyperspace. Enemy fighters sped away, leaving behind a field littered with the remnants of X-Wings, Y-Wings, and TIE fighters alike.

Though the small Rebel fleet had paid a high price, the field was theirs. The salvage would prove valuable, and quick assessments indicated the Assault Frigate would be able to be made space worthy again after some time in dry dock. Alliance crews hurried to recover what they could before Imperial reinforcements arrived.

When the Empire returned to Raider’s point, all they found was wreckage.

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