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Space Empires VBalance Mod Game Story - Rise of the Xiati Empire

Rise of the Xiati Empire Main | Previous Chapter 2424.1-2425.0 | Next Chapter 2426.1-2427.0

Turns 2425.1 to 2426.0

Setbacks and Opportunities...

The 2425s started promising with the successful invasion of the Ukra-Tal colony on Lylat V but was soon followed by a number of setbacks which forced Emperor Tax'renath to pull back several Xiati fleets from their forward positions to plug holes with the destruction of several key warp point blockades by the Cue Cappa and Phong. While none of the battles where lost outright, the attacks highlighted vulnerabilities in the Xiati defensive scheme. By the end of the year, a number of the warp points were only lightly protected or remained free to transit. At the same time, new opportunities arose in the Drax system and the opportunistic Xiati struck the Phong.

Battle for the Lylat System

In the late 2424s, sensors had indicated the Ukra-Tal colony on Lylat V was only moderately protected and vulnerable to capture. With the chronic radioactives shortage and Lylat V's radioactives wealth, quick plans were drawn to land troops on the planet. The Fwandrei Defense Fleet was split into two groups, the Lylat Attack Fleet consisting mostly of large Defiant cruisers and Ravager battleships plus support ships for an invasion, while the Fwandrei Defense Fleet was left with mostly smaller ships to hold the Lylat-Fwandrei warp point. An Invader class ship was loaded with Pillager troops and some weapon platforms to protect the (hopefully) captured colony. In 2450.0, the Lylat Attack Fleet struck taking out the planet's weapon platforms and troops were landed. By 2425.1, the planet was captured.

Orbital Battle for Lylat V in 2425.0:

Battle of Lylat V

After the successful capture of Lylat V, the split Xiati forces were more vulnerable to a counter-attack. The Lylat system was still heavily occupied by the Ukra-Tal, EEE and Cue Cappa who split the system's other 6 inhabited planets. The EEE's large fleet stationed at Lylat III, their homeworld designate, quickly move northwards to engage the Fwandrei Defense Fleet stationed at the Lylat-Fwandrei warp point. In 2425.1, the EEE Fleet (5xDEs,5xLCs,7xCRs,1xBB,2xDNs,2xCX,16xMDr,1xLF) attacked the Fwandrei Defense Fleet whcih was reinforced by elements of the Fwandrei Attack Fleet. The combined Xiati fleet (9xDEs,8xLCs,11xCRs,5xBBs,6xSF) lost only 2 ships in the battle completely destroying the EEE fleet, but the battle itself was heavily contested. The Xiati's Protector class point-defense ships were the key to victory by nullifying the EEE's potent plasma missile volleys.

Battle of Lylat-Fwandrei Warp Point in 2425.1:

Battle of Lylat-Fwandrei Warp Point

After the battle, the Fwandrei Defense Fleet was sent to protect Lylat V, leaving the Lylat Attack Fleet to protect the warp point. Barely a month later, the Ukra-Tal launched a desparate raid against the Lylat Attack Fleet from Lylat IX, but was destroyed easily. By the end of the year, Lylat V had been fortified and the Xiati launched a second attack against Lylat IXa, the colonized moon of the major Ukra-Tal colony of Lylat IX. The moon was captured in 2426.0. With defensive fortifications completely on the Fwandrei side of the Lylat-Fwandrei warp point, the Lylat Attack Fleet will protect Lylat IXa. The EEE have re-built their fleet at Lylat III and an attack appears imminent.

Problems in Reticulum and Obotron

In 2450.0, a Cue Cappa fleet was transiting the Reticulum system being monitored closely by the Reticulum Defense Fleet, stationed near the only Xiati colony in the contested system. For some time, the Xiati had controlled the northern and eastern half of the system included the warp points to the Xiati-controlled Obotron system and the warp point to the Cydonia system. This blockade made it difficult for Ukra-Tal to transfer reinforcements to the west, including the Lylat system. While it was unusual to see a relatively large Cue Cappa fleet in the system, typically they had travalled such to the Prot system without intervetion from the Xiati. However this time, the Cue Cappa fleet broke north and destroyed the Obotron-Reticulum warp point defenses. In pursuit, the Reticulum Defense Fleet left the Reticulum-Cydonia warp point. It was clear the Cue Cappa fleet was on course for Obotron I. A previous fleet stronghold, Obotron was now only lightly protected with ground defenses and an orbital defense station.

Battle of Obotron I in 2425.2:

Battle of Obotron I in 2425.2

The Reticulum Defense Fleet (5xDEs,8xLCs,4xCRs,1xBB) arrived right before the Cue Cappa fleet to enhance Obotron's defenses. The Cue Cappa Fleet (3xDEs,3xLCs,6xCRs,1xBB,2xMFs) struck hard. The large Cue Cappa ships were armed with Allegiance Subverters and caused the Xiati crews to fire on their own ships at times, which was devastating. Although the Cue Cappa fleet was destroyed, the Reticulum Defense Fleet lost 3 destroyers, 4 light cruisers, a cruiser and its Ravager class flagship. Obotron I also lost its orbital Space Yard and Defense base.

With the absence of the Reticulum Defense Fleet, a lone wolf EEE dreadnought attacked Reticulum IV but was captured and analyzed instead after being disabled by the planet's defensive fighters. Shortly after a Ukra-Tal fleet (13xDEs,5xCRs,2xDNs,2xLCX,24xSFtr,38xLFtr) destroyed the Reticulum-Cydonia warp point defenses while passing through the warp point in 2425.5. The following month, with the return of the much depleted Reticulum Defense Fleet, a second Ukra-Tal fleet (4xDEs,5xCRs,2xDNs,1xLF) moved towards Reticulum IV. Although the Reticulum IV lost a full squadron of fighters, the remnants of the Reticulum fleet and the planet's weapon platforms destroyed the Ukra-Tal fleet without further loses.

Xiati Fighter Swarm vs EEE Dreadnought in 2425.4:

Battle of Reticulum IV in 2425.4

Battle of Reticulum IV in 2425.6:

Battle of Reticulum IV in 2425.6

To replace the losses, newly constructed ships from the Fwandrei and Orion systems are being diverted to Obotron and Reticulum. The ships had originally been constructed to supplement the Lylat Attack Fleet for a bolder invasion scheme, but those plans have been put on hold. The warp point between Reticulum and Cydonia remains open.

Fallback to Ventrux

The Ventrux-Bespin warp point defenses have continued to be tested by Norak and Phong forces. However, in 2452.2, the most recent defenses (20xMSat) had been supplemented with the moderately-sized Ventrux Defense Fleet (3xDEs,6xLCs,4xCRs,1xBB). Shortly afterwards, a Phong fleet (5xDEs,5xCRs,2xDNs,1xLCX,1xLF,31xFtr) transited the warp point and engaged. The battle was intense with many ships on both sides being destroyed. Although the Phong fleet was eventually destroyed, the Ventrux Defense Fleet was devastated losing 2 destroyers, 6 light cruisers, 2 cruisers plus all 20 defense satellites.

Battle of Ventrux-Bespin WP in 2425.2:

Battle of Ventrux-Bespin WP in 2425.2

With the near collapse of the Ventrux fleet, the Xiati fleets in the Drepana system had to fall back to the Ventrux system. Emperor Tax'renath's ambitions in the Drepana system have been tempered. The Ventrux system itself remains vulnerable and remote mining operations are at risk. The colonies of Ventrux II and Ventrux VII are well-defended but can be overwhelmed with repeated assaults.

The Eastern War

At the same time their forces attacked Obotron I, the Cue Cappa struck the Fezzran-Falcor warp point blockade, crushing all 65 defensive satellites with moderate damage. With the threat to the Fezzran colonies, the Fezzran Defense Fleet was forced to retreat from Sirius back to Fezzran II. Emperor Tax'renath had hoped to free up the Sirius Attack Fleet to block the Sirius-Andross WP, the last South-Nork link for the EEE and Cue Cappa. Instead, the Sirius Attack Fleet remained at Sirius V to protect against counter-attacks. During the following month, the Fezzran Defense Fleet (6xDE,11xLCs,2xSFs) engaged the remaining elements of the Cue Cappa Fleet (6xDEs,7xLCs,2xCR,1xBB,1xLF) in open space, taking advantage of the fleet's weakened condition. The Fezzran Defense Fleet destroyed the Cue Cappa with no ship losses as several of the key Cue Cappa ships were more damaged than previously thought and put up little resistance.

In 2425.1, a significant EEE Fleet (2xDEs,8xCRs,1xBB,3xDNs) attacked Sirius V but was anhilated by the Lylat Attack Group and the planet's ground defenses. Again with a massive blanket of point-defense, the Xiati ships were protected against the EEE's plasma missiles and were able to close in with their superior direct fire weapons to eliminate the threat.

Battle of Sirius V in 2425.1:

Battle of Sirius V in 2425.1

Ah, Drax!

As part of what became known as the debacle of 2425.2, the Xiati's worst month in more than 7 years, a squadron of Ukta-Tal fighters from Drax IIIa launched a futile raid against the Xiati's Eskirk Defense Fleet, sitting at the Drax-Eskirk warp point. The Eskirk Defense Fleet (5xLCs,5xCRs,5xBBs,6xSFs) was about to launch an invasion against the huge Phong colony on Drax IV and was just waiting for the arrival of troop ships. The Ukra-Tal fighters managed to approach from the rear and destroyed the fleet's mine sweeping and repair contigent before easily being taken out by the fleet's combat ships. The loss of the support ships crippled the offensive capability of the Eskirk Defense Fleet and plans to invade Drax IV put on hold until replacements could arrive. Emperor Tax'renath was furious as the Phong could gain time to enhance their colonies' defenses in the meantime.

It wasn't until late in 2425.7, the Eskirk Defense Fleet finally launched its attack against Drax IV. Although the ground defenses were relatively weak, there was a massive 4,000kT starbase in orbit. A group of Defiant and Ravager class ships engaged the base and managed to destroy with only moderate damaged to themselves. A second group of ships took out the planet's shields and defenses and troops were landed. The capture of Drax IV was the first conquest of Phong-held territory. The planet was incredibly rich in minerals and radioactives and will become one of the Xiati's key resource producing colonies if they can hold onto it.

Orbital Battle of Drax IV in 2425.7:

Orbital Battle of Drax IV in 2425.7

Ground Battle of Drax IV in 2425.8:

Ground Battle of Drax IV in 2425.8

Xiati Fleet Modernization

Despite the largest fleet in the quadrant and having the best combat record, in some respects the Xiati Fleet was becoming outdated and was at serious risk of losing its effectiveness. Xiati ship designers had managed numerical superiority through lower ship costs such as utilization of high end Ion Engines instead of more technological sophisticated Contra-Terrene or Jacketed-Photon engines that were available. Although the Xiati's propulsion experts had squeezed the most out of these low cost engines, the Xiati's speed advantage had been lost. With the development of Quantum Engines, the time was right to start adding these engines in to the Xiati fleet despite their exorbitant cost.

Besides speed, the effectiveness of Xiati seeker-based designs such as the Phantom or Striker classes had been declining dramatically and they had become the most common losses in large fleet engagements. It had become clear that Point-Defense systems on all sides of the quadrant were very advanced and the seeker-based approach had lost the advantage of range and low cost defensive systems. Starting in the 2425s, Xiati designers dropped all mixed seeker-direct fire designs and most Xiati ships were utilizing Anti-Proton Beams as their primary weapon supplemented by unique Temporal technololgy like the Temporal Tachyon Cannon or shield-busting Time Distortion Bursts. Defensive systems were also upgraded with greather emphasis on shield regeneration and mixed point-defense use. The Alloy-Burner Missile days are not completely forgotten, but those designs will now fulfill a niche role.

First designed in the Xiati's terrible month of 2425.2, the Vengeance class first came into service in 2452.9. The largest and most expensive ship of the Xiati fleet, the massive dreadnoughts will be key platforms for launching attacks against enemy strongpoints. The design features no seeker-based weapons only heavily mounted beam weapons and is designed for close-quarter combat.

The 1,620kT Vengeance class Dreadnought

Vengeance Class Dreadnought

Quadrant Map 2426.0:

Map of Known Space 2426.0

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