WCRPG: Vespus

capi3101

Rear Admiral
Good evening, all.

It'd figure that I'd be slogging through WCRPG's proofreading and come up with an idea for another miniature campaign. The thread kinda says it all - a campaign centered around the action over Vespus in the wake of the Battle of Earth, prior to the start of WC3, the action in which Concordia was lost.

My initial thought was to have the players serve as pilots aboard Concordia herself, but as I think more about it, I'm thinking perhaps having the players serving aboard a different carrier coming to reinforce Concordia's group (or perhaps resupplying Concordia, with both ships getting caught in the ambush). I'd have a tough time picking one, of course...certainly the fleet carriers would be out, so maybe an escort carrier, or a Yorktown.

I really just had the initial thought today, so I haven't had much time to develop it. Anyone who would like to put in their two cents on the idea is welcome to do so, of course. My greatest concern at this point is coming up with a rationale as to why Concordia was close enough to the planet to get knocked out of orbit in the first place. How isn't all that relevant; why is.

I'm also pondering the last image we see of Concordia, of her broken hull half submerged off the Mistral Coast. There must be one hell of a continental slope there. Or Concordia's forward sections were all crumple zone. Or only half the ship is there...I mean, she was close to a kilometer in length...

Anyway, I'll open this idea for discussion. Thoughts? Besides "get your butt back to proofreading already"?
 

Whistler

Commodore
Correct me if I'm wrong but after the Battle of Terra wasn't there a surge in reservicing Rangers like the Victory?

Also I'm sure the whole reason Concordia went down was a failure of her primary drives, likely due to battle damage, and was clearly too close to Vespus' gravity well to prevent it. Script it however you like but clearly a torpedo or two struck home. A kamikaze maybe? Could even work up a side story if the carrier is successfully defended.
 

ChrisReid

Super Soaker Collector / Administrator
The Victory was Yorktown class, not Ranger. Rangers were something else.

I like the idea of a smaller nearby carrier running to help the Concordia and seeing her go down, picking up homeless pilots (like the TCS Austin after the Claw went down).
 

capi3101

Rear Admiral
Correct me if I'm wrong but after the Battle of Terra wasn't there a surge in reservicing Rangers like the Victory?
I'd point out that Victory was Yorktown-class, but ChrisReid already beat me to it. I think it might've been called Ranger by fans until it was officially made Yorktown in Star*Soldier. Hence stats for Yorktown appearing in Chapter 7.3 and Ranger in Chapter 7.4. In any case, all the newer fleet carriers were so badly damaged or destroyed in the Battle of Earth that Confed had no choice but to put the older platforms back in service and get them modernized as quickly as possible.

Also I'm sure the whole reason Concordia went down was a failure of her primary drives, likely due to battle damage, and was clearly too close to Vespus' gravity well to prevent it. Script it however you like but clearly a torpedo or two struck home. A kamikaze maybe? Could even work up a side story if the carrier is successfully defended.
Well, once again I'm not as concerned with how Concordia went down as why she was so close to the planet to begin with. I mean, we know she was in the rearguard force and that some time around the loss of Concordia there was a major action going on in the Cordel and Morpheus systems - Cordel has a jump to Vespus. Probably Concordia was in the rear because she was still damaged from the Battle of Earth. The Cats break through to Vespus...

I'm thinking Concordia was badly damaged in the ensuing action, some Cat ship started bombarding the planet and Concordia's skipper tried to shoot the PTC, except it malfed and left him with no option but a ram. The ram was successful but Concordia's engines were knocked out in the process and her inertia and trajectory carried her right on in. That's the way I see it going down. Conjectural, of course, but it does give a heroic end to the old girl.

So...perhaps the player characters could be pilots on a ship in the main-guard, pursuing the Cats from Cordel.

I like the idea of a smaller nearby carrier running to help the Concordia and seeing her go down, picking up homeless pilots (like the TCS Austin after the Claw went down).
I've had this thought, actually. I've also thought about picking up escape pods off of Concordia while the ship is going down (and while there are still Cats out there).


What fighter carrying platforms did Confed have available in the aftermath of the Battle of Earth? Might've still had a few Wakes, Waterloos were used, Yorktowns, Lexingtons (shudder)...anything else? Which of these is most likely being used in fleet actions at that point?
 

Whistler

Commodore
The Victory was Yorktown class, not Ranger. Rangers were something else.

I like the idea of a smaller nearby carrier running to help the Concordia and seeing her go down, picking up homeless pilots (like the TCS Austin after the Claw went down).
I did read her being Yorktown in Star Soldier but before I posted I read this:
http://wingcommander.wikia.com/wiki/TCS_Victory

Blame them for my bad info. That's what I get for trying to be sure.

Also noticed this here on the CIC. Seems the information is conflicting.
https://www.wcnews.com/encyclopedia/showrecord.php?id=1329
 
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capi3101

Rear Admiral
Yeah, both of those are outdated sources (though I will admit to having used the CIC ship's database to fill in existing holes in WCPedia and vice versa when I was building ship stats).

Here's the up-to-date article at WCPedia: https://www.wcnews.com/wcpedia/TCS_Victory

I'd postulate that Victory was the last Yorktown-class carrier commissioned - an opinion, but one I'd be willing to discuss.
 
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ChrisReid

Super Soaker Collector / Administrator
What fighter carrying platforms did Confed have available in the aftermath of the Battle of Earth? Might've still had a few Wakes, Waterloos were used, Yorktowns, Lexingtons (shudder)...anything else? Which of these is most likely being used in fleet actions at that point?
Don't forget that while there were maybe dozens of carriers, there were hundreds (maybe thousands) of fighter-carrying destroyers and cruisers. So when all the carriers get smashed, you have ships like Exeters and Tallahassees picking up more of the load, though not necessarily able to carry the big bombers and launch significant offensives.
 

capi3101

Rear Admiral
I'd forgotten about the Tallahassees...also looks like Southamptons had a very small compliment (now there's a thought...). Both would be good picks.
 

Whistler

Commodore
Jason Bondarevsky's Coventry perhaps? I wonder if his service record allowed him the use of the Destroyer during the Vespus action after he quit the Landreich before Heart of the Tiger. Maybe he was there. His love of the Concordia was well documented and he did have a hand on ol' Geoff's ear with his heroic statis in the Admiral's eyes.
 

Quarto

Unknown Enemy
Jason Bondarevsky's Coventry perhaps? I wonder if his service record allowed him the use of the Destroyer during the Vespus action after he quit the Landreich before Heart of the Tiger. Maybe he was there. His love of the Concordia was well documented and he did have a hand on ol' Geoff's ear with his heroic statis in the Admiral's eyes.
Well, the Armada manual hints strongly that being assigned to the Concordia after the Battle of Terra, or a ship escorting her, would hardly be a mark of favour - quite the opposite.
 

capi3101

Rear Admiral
It suggests that she'd been beaten all to hell: "The Concordia was growing rather rickety after years of abuse, and she’d been placed on indefinite patrol status, Code 4. What this translated into was running routine
“safe” sector patrols." Okay. So...she was running patrol over Vespus (which we can probably safely assume was a Pleasure World) and considered safe. I suppose that still fits the definition of rearguard.

I'd like to start setting some of the particulars of the campaign. I see three main battle groups involved: Concordia's, the group with the player characters, and the Kilrathi group. I'm thinking Concordia's group consists of older ships of the WC2 era, and it's likely small if all she's doing is running patrols. Maybe four ships - Concordia herself (a beat-up Confederation-class, of course), a couple of Gilgamesh-class destroyers and maybe a Clydesdale. She could be running a whole mish-mash of craft but if all she's supposedly doing is patrol work, she might have Ferrets, Phantoms and maybe Gladii aboard. The idea here is that her group lacks a strike wing - it's mostly patrol craft.

The Kilrathi group I see as WC3-era craft and I see it as fairly substantial - maybe as many as twenty-four craft (mostly destroyers) centered on a Bhantkara-class carrier. I'm tempted to go with a Hakaga, though it would seem from WC history that not many of those served much past the Battle of Earth.

Player group is going to be based on a Tallahassee - I'll just say that outright - with some Southamptons and possibly Savannahs for escorts. It's be part of a larger task group (probably part of a carrier task force) that breaks off to pursue the Cats headed to Vespus.

I see the campaign as a five-parter, just like Enyo. Thee first mission would take place in Cordel or Pembroke - the players get Intel that the Kilrathi are trying to sneak a group through to the Vespus jump point, with orders to pursue and eliminate as many craft as possible. The campaign's difficulty will be directly dictated by how many Cats survive each mission, and it is going to be possible to prevent Concordia's fate, but only through extremely good play. I see the mission to rescue Concordia's crew as the fourth mission in the series and the fifth mission either being a "winning" mission to finish driving the Cats out of Cordel or a "losing mission" to cover Confed's retreat from Vespus dependent on how well everything goes overall (maybe a point system per mission determining the campaign's final outcome).

Anybody got any ideas what I might do for missions two and three?
 

Quarto

Unknown Enemy
It suggests that she'd been beaten all to hell: "The Concordia was growing rather rickety after years of abuse, and she’d been placed on indefinite patrol status, Code 4. What this translated into was running routine
“safe” sector patrols." Okay. So...she was running patrol over Vespus (which we can probably safely assume was a Pleasure World) and considered safe. I suppose that still fits the definition of rearguard.
Well, you do have some leeway. The point of having carriers operating outside of the main hotspots, I would assume, isn't just to intercept random Kilrathi raids, but also to have an uncommitted mobile reserve in the event of a bigger assault. The Concordia may have been operating nearby, and have been called into the area for whatever reason.
 

Ilanin

Captain
OK, here's an idea for how Concordia could end up crashing down on Vespus - the Kilrathi group includes one or more Rigakh-class cruisers, which recon flights determine are carrying Sr-90 warheads (or bioweapons, depending on whether you want to go for the Fleet Action or Heart of the Tiger paradigms), causing the Confederation forces to be ordered into a ramscoops-closed dash to cover inhabited planets in the system. Unfortunately damage to the Concordia's ramscoops prevent them from being extended as far for braking as used to be possible (nor is the ship's structure up to withstanding the stress), so she ends up in a close orbit of Vespus - close enough that damage to her engines will be (and is) fatal.
 

capi3101

Rear Admiral
That's a possibility. Capship missiles in general are a relatively new thing in-universe at this point too, so I might do something with those.

Let me ask this question: I've got two procedures for building star systems in WCRPG. Both Prelude and Enyo used the nav map style system map (like what you see in Privateer) - should I use the full system style for Vespus?

Also, how many times do you think Concordia was hit by torpedoes over the course of her career? Is there any way to determine that quantitatively?
Probably oughta include bombs detonating inside the flight deck with that count...
 

capi3101

Rear Admiral
Anybody got any idea as to the origin of the system's name? I'm coming up empty here.

(Putting the system map together today; that's why I ask.)

EDIT: Do you suppose it's another form of the word "vespa"? That's a Latin word for wasp (specifically it's the genus name for hornets), and I can certainly work with that.
 

Whistler

Commodore
Other than a character in Sean McMullen's The Centurion Empire the closest I can find is a reference to the Greek god Hesperus, or the Evening Star of Venus. The name Vespus comes from a derivative of Vesper, which means "evening", "supper", "evening star", "west". The name Vespus is more a Roman-esque name of the same god. Best I can do without digging into my history volumes.

The intent was likely meant as "Our Evening Star", which is probably a more literal meaning, seeing the star from Earth's night sky.
 

capi3101

Rear Admiral
Hmm...yeah, I also came across that same interpretation of the name; it's more likely to be the correct one. Going to be harder to work with too; I've got six planets and a couple of moons to name.

Plus bases, if I decide to add any...
 

Whistler

Commodore
Hmm...yeah, I also came across that same interpretation of the name; it's more likely to be the correct one. Going to be harder to work with too; I've got six planets and a couple of moons to name.

Plus bases, if I decide to add any...
You could take a few names from Venus continents and known land masses. Ishtar as an example. By many accounts several worlds don't even rate names. From Eisen, "Now they've targeted Tamayo 2." Or from Rollins, "They're going to be naming babies after you on Locanda IV." Only major transit, trading, or landmark worlds seems to ever rate a name, like Hell Hole or Oasis.

From Blair's words we can ascertain that only the major world rated a name, "The wreckage of the Concordia has been located, on Vespus off the Mistral Coast..." this implies that only the major populated world carries the name and the rest of the orbital bodies share the common number designations. Likely only the base, cities, and maybe the populated world has a named moon? With a named beach like that the idea that it's a pleasure base world is far more likely. I think even the scene with Blair and Devereaux on shore leave is the same beach.

So the place is largely backwater or at the very least off the major trade routes.

In that case, the Venusian names may be most appropriate given the mythology used in naming.
 

capi3101

Rear Admiral
I got planet names taken care of this morning. Working on the main planet's stats at this point; it's giving me some problems...

EDIT: Done. Sometimes it helps not to follow the dictates of dice.
 

capi3101

Rear Admiral
Hey all. I've been busy with proofreading, of course, but I figured I'd give a quick update on what's been going on with this (especially since it wound up on the CIC front page today).

I haven't done much else this past week with the campaign. I did have the notion to have the campaign progress based on "victory points" which would ultimately determine what the final mission would be - and I'm thinking about using this system to determine what missions the players will have to fly. The way I'm envisioning it, blowing up target X in this mission would be worth more to the overall campaign than blowing it up in that mission. This means having to construct the campaign a bit backwards but I think it will work overall.

I've pretty much settled on the players' task group; I'll be going with the names I rolled out originally (mostly city names, but not ones in the United States or the United Kingdom; the player's carrier in particular is named after a city in India). Same goes with the Cats, though I may enhance their configuration a bit for the first mission; victory points there will be dependent on hitting the "correct" targets.
 
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