Received orders at 2030 ship time to report to Deneb sector. Massive fleet movements in vicinity of DS1. Course laid in, estimated travel time: twelve hours.
Crew compliment: Six Bridge Officers
TSN Vessel ID: Valorous
When we warped into the sector, Science warned of a large cluster of unidentified hostiles less than 20k away. Loaded two homings and a nuke, set course for the cluster at warp 2.
There were far more targets than the Captain initially expected, he was too focused on ensuring that engineering had torpedoes and maneuvering jacked up to 150% and shields at 125%. Shields were raised, red-alert skipped and the center vessel, a Kralien ship was targeted with all three tubes.
Several more homing missiles were dispatched, and the first group went down fairly easily. After they were destroyed, the Captain moved to Science to get a better idea of what we were dealing with - and that started with a Skaraan Defiler moving in on DS1 with frightening speed.
Between Valorous and DS1 were four separate clusters of unidentified hostiles, a thick minefield, and some nebulae. Course was set to fly through the B-range parsecs, around all other targets, to focus on protecting DS1. Captain called for warp 4, which allowed for a few seconds to dock at DS1 before the Skaraan showed up to rumble.
Captain neglected to call ahead, so energy was not entirely full when the Skaraan showed up to fight, and there were only five homing missiles left.
The Defiler put up a fight, sucking up all of the remaining homing missiles; Captain ordered a mine loaded and ordered Helm to come about. With a mine straight to the intake manifold, the Defiler exploded gloriously.
Captain ordered Comms to call ahead this time before docking at DS1. Shields regenerated and weapons replenished, Science reported that the first wave of enemies was crashing into the minefield en route to DS1. Captain ordered an ECM, a homing, and a nuke be loaded.
The minefield did little to slow down the first wave of ten enemies, a combination of Arvonians and Kraliens. Captain ordered the center ship be the target, and ordered the ECM and homing missile fired. Homing missiles were then loaded into the empty tubes and fired. The Captain was counting on splash damage to do his work for him. Unfortunately, the enemy ships were either just too far apart or were still well shielded, because they kept coming unfettered by the missile attacks. Captain ordered the nuke be launched.
The nuke exploded a little close to Valorous, damaging its forward shields somewhat, but it had the desired effect. Only an extremely weakened Kralien cruiser remained, which was quickly dispatched with a homing missile.
Unfortunately, a Skaraan Executioner decided to crash the party, and took another nuke to get rid of.
With limited ammunition, the Valorous returned to DS1 to restock and think of another plan. The next three groups were some distance away yet, and the Captain took his time to come up with a plan.
The previous group had left a hole in the minefield which the next group could easily pass right through. Captain ordered mines be loaded, and helm set a course to reinforce the minefield at its weak point. Helm backed the Valorous into position and laid three mines, loading two ECM and a nuke afterwards.
There was a few moments of tense waiting before the Captain ordered Helm to move. Unfortunately, Helm forgot that Valorous was still set to reverse impulse, and, without shields raised, obliterated DamCon team 3, the impulse engines, warp engine, port and starboard maneuvering thrusters, and aft sensors. The enemy was approaching, the minefield was that much weaker, and the Valorous wasn't going anywhere quickly.
Captain ordered raised shields and sent the remaining DamCon teams to repair the engines. With 12% impulse, the Helm set a course for DS1 and began limping back to base for emergency repairs. Fortune smiled upon the crew of the Valorous, because the incoming hostiles were moving about as slowly as the Valorous was.
Commendably, the DamCon teams managed to repair the warp engines a limited amount, and so, with fair warning, Helm docked the Valorous with DS1. There was only one nuke left, and the ship's engines were still damaged when the Captain determined that the hostile ships had come too close. Comms requested DS1 begin production of nukes.
Helm was ordered to move out, and weapons were free. As before, the tactic was to target the center ship with ECMs and homing missiles and let the splash damage do the legwork. This seemed to work well on the smaller group of five vessels, although ultimately the last nuke was necessary to eliminate the enemy ships.
Science reported that the next group was right on top of them, and Captain asked how much time they had. Shields were raised for the purpose of safety whilst laying out every mine the Valorous had in her holds to slow down the next wave before making a quick dock with DS1. Comms reported a nuke had been produced and was ready for transport to the Valorous.
An Arvonian carrier sent her lines of self-sacrificing pilots to give their lives on the defenses Valorous had laid out to protect DS1. The gap the Valorous had filled with mines was restored, and this time the Arvonians had brought Torgoth friends in the form of a Leviathan. Science reported it as having 400 shields, front and back.
At this point, even DS1 was getting tapped for ammunition to provide the Valorous. There was no time to wait for a second nuke, a course was laid in and the Leviathan was the primary target. Splash damage would have to come as a reward for destroying it. Every homing missile and almost every ECM was expended trying to dispatch the Leviathan. With nothing else left to use, Helm came about and Weapons dropped mine after mine into the oncoming enemies until rear shields were below 30% and no more enemies remained.
Science reported that, due to erratic travel patterns of a Skaraan Defiler with the final group, their progress was slow going. While the Valorous regrouped at DS1 to collect what little ammo it could, Science was able to get full scans on every vessel. Two Skaraan ships, an Arvonian carrier, a Torgoth Goliath, and two Kralien vessels. Comms requested that DS1 build homing missiles, but there wasn't enough time to see this request come to fruition before the Captain decided to lay out another mine trap for the final battle.
Science noted that the reason for the Skaraan's erratic travel pattern, the pattern that kept slowing his group down as they regularly reformed into a battle formation, was because the Skaraan captain kept using a limited warp drive to shoot forward a little before making a wide arc back to rejoin his comrades. It ended up being the Skaraan's downfall, as he warped forward into the mines and obliterated his engines.
The Captain had Weapons load three ECMs, and continually pound the Goliath with them in an attempt to reduce his shields to a level where homing missiles might be effective. With only one ECM left in the hold, the Captain ordered Weapons switch over to launching homing missiles. Although in the other encounters, the Valorous stayed largely out of enemy weapons' range, now the Captain let the enemies approach.
Missile after missile was fired into the Goliath, yet it remained. Some of the explosions destroyed the Kralien vessels as they bounced off of the Goliath's shields, but the Goliath kept coming. Finally, it was in beam range. Thanks to Science providing the proper beam frequency, what was left of the Goliath's shields were shattered and they were ultimately sent to meet their maker.
All that remained was an Arvonian Carrier, devoid of its fighters, dead set on destroying the Valorous. Unfortunately, with just over 50% forward shields remaining, the Arvonians simply did not have the firepower to overwhelm the TSN vessel.
The Captain ordered a mine be shoved down its throat for its troubles. It took two, but it ultimately went the way of its friends.
The mission was completed, DS1 safe.
I had to play this mission entirely by myself on three computers - I played all six roles and it was incredibly difficult. After running into my own mine, I thought I was done for. It has been a while since I've played with other people, they keep running off to do other things!