Flashpoint Amber: The Medusa Offensive
Although the vast Terran-Dindrenzi War rolls on, the conflict has ground itself to a stalemate. The multitudes of warring races continue to slaughter each other with no sign of victory. Despite intensive Zenian League assaults managing to forge some inroads into Terran Alliance, Aquan Prime and Sorylian Collective space, such offensive thrusts have failed to turn the tide of the war.
The Alliance of Kurak, as the triple pact between the Terran, Aquan and Sorylian dominions is known, has managed to absorb the initial shock, denying the Zenian powers the collapse they were hoping for. The result is that commanders from both sides are deeply frustrated by this situation and are now clamouring for a major victory!
In the hotly contested Storm Zone itself, the mighty sector-spanning Terran Security Cordon, or TSC, has hardened into reality; a chain of bulwark systems shielding the heart of Terran Alliance space from full invasion. To either side of this region, Sorylian stubbornness and Aquan dynamism have also found the measure of their opponents, matching even the frenetic Relthozan drive for expansion and the ruthless avarice of the Directorate’s many corporations.
Until now, the moves of the Kurak Alliance have been almost uniformly defensive in nature, reacting to and countering Zenian threats to their dominions and assets. But reaction alone cannot win a war. The Alliance of Kurak has decided it needs to make its move, its own great attacking drive to take the war into the heart of Zenian territory itself.
In the far galactic southern reaches of the quadrant, the Kurak Alliance has chosen its first new battlefront; the Amber System, on the very southernmost spur of the Moore Systems cluster.
Once thought a largely barren relic of the Thessaly War, Alliance intelligence, masterminded by Hawker Industries, has detected significant activity in the area. Suspecting that the Zenians are using Amber as the base for key new military projects, the Kurak powers plan to hurl the full weight of their new offensive into this far-flung area of early human colonisation.
But the ambitious planners of the Kurak powers see this as more than just another enemy brushfire to be extinguished. For them, Amber is a stepping stone, the opening of a new front behind the Zenian invasion routes. From Amber, Kurak forces could potentially strike out behind the lawless Rift, further into Dindrenzi space, even directly at the Relthoza Empire itself.
Vast attack fleets, escorting massive Planetfall Divisions of ground forces, have gathered at the Chadda, Gan and Quath systems on the edge of Sorylian space. The Medusa Offensive, as it has been dubbed, is a huge gamble; as each power commits a substantial portion of its already depleted strategic reserves. But for the prize that Amber represents, it has been judged a risk worth taking.
The Kurak Alliance objective is clear; their conquest must succeed. Amber must fall!
To download a larger version of the map, click here.
A Guide to the Amber System
As systems go there is nothing that unusual about the Amber System. It is analogous to the Sol System in being binary and its sun shines with a ruddy amber/ochre light –which derived the system’s name. It has 6 planets, of which only 4 are worth fighting over in terms of known resources.
Korona, a scorched desert, is the closest ‘habitable’ world to the sun, although the heat makes the planet unbearable on the surface, meaning most lifeforms take to a subterranean habitat. This world is rich in minerals and over the centuries has seen extensive mining take place.
There is no real artificial infrastructure present except for antiquated powerstations, nascent airfields and space ports and old mass-drivers which were used for firing ‘packages’ of extracted minerals into low orbit for collection by spacecraft. Any settlements were mainly served by landing fields for small spacecraft and atmospheric craft, but these are now long since ruined.
Adrella is a swamp/jungle covered ‘semi-water world’ that, whilst still hot, is more than capable of supporting life. The world has an active core making it highly volcanic, and many of the islands which populate the vast oceans were formed by tectonic upheaval. In the dim past efforts were made to attempt to terraform the world, but colonisation was abandoned after the Thessaly War and incursion by the Relthoza ended any further human intervention. The planet was then left to its numerous natural species to dominate, the majority of which are not that friendly!
Kavan’s World was the most aggressively developed world by explorers/settlers in this system. Its Earth-type biosphere (now wasted and worn by staggering levels of mining) was what led to interest from early settlers, and prompted frenetic development. But following the Thessaly War this planet has been greedily strip-mined of resources by the Relthoza.
It is the most advanced world in terms of colonisation, exhibiting remnants of ancient cities, manufacturing installations and civilian infrastructure, some of which date back to the long dead race that inhabited the world. Considerable sub-surface construction took place on this world and much of it still remains. There has been some speculation that the ancient race is the Sabulon, but this has not been proven.
Kavan has 2 moons, both largely inhospitable balls of rock with modest mineral wealth. Half a dozen small, old and inactive space elevators still exist, connected to low-orbit docks. None of them function, but the docks still maintain their orbits.
Vassina is an inhospitable ball of ice in the outer reaches of the Amber System with a liveable atmosphere, although humanoids struggle to breathe without assistance. Several old research stations are evident, with some underground facilities, long since inoperable, still in existence. There is no naturally occurring flora or fauna on the surface, but the world is a potentially rich source of water and frozen gasses.
Two gas giants exist in the system. From data taken from the original explorers’ reports, neither has a solid surface, but some remnants of gas-mining installations are still in evidence.
Kaunas Ordina is grey and ochre in colour and has thin rings of ice running vertically around its poles. A series of green with white and turquoise swirls led the planet to be nicknamed ‘The Marble World’ and the strong gravitational pull of the planet means it is subject to frequent meteorite strikes.
Giffard’s World, named after Captain Joshua Giffard who led the exploration fleet which first charted the system, is a violent world that rides around the periphery of the Amber System. Little is now known of this world, other than it has five moons and that Kurak intelligence believes Relthoza-led Zenian forces use the planet and moons as a base of operations.
The entire Amber System is ringed by a dense asteroid belt – largely unexplored and unexploited and perfect for hiding strategic military assets!
Mixing It Up A Bit!
Greetings Spartan faithful! With the release of the new Syndicate and OSO ships, Marauders players now have brand new tools in their arsenal. Both fleets have been more fully fleshed out allowing you to field pure Syndicate or OSO fleets with the same flexibility as an Alliance Fleet, such as the Rense System Navy and Hawker Industries. You also have a firmer base with which to create an allied fleet using the different factions and fleets within the Marauders Fleet Guide.
The core races of Firestorm Armada have also recently been bolstered thanks to the addition of the new ships released with the Firestorm Taskforce fast play rule set. These ships filled in some gaps and added quite a bit of tactical flexibility and some exciting new fleet dynamics. They added lots of flavour and in some cases showed how dynamic races like the Relthoza have been adapting to the prevailing conditions of the ongoing war. A contributing factor to this was the addition of the Mixed Cruiser Squadron Rule which was included in the Taskforce Ship FSA stat documents and later the updated Fleet Guides.
The rule reads as follows.
Mixed Cruiser Squadrons
Up to one Cruiser in a Cruiser Squadron may instead be a Heavy Cruiser or an Escort Carrier, for the Points Cost listed in the relevant Statistics profile. Up to one Light Cruiser in a Light Cruiser Squadron may instead be a Standard Cruiser, Gunship or an Escort Carrier, again for the relevant Points Cost. In all cases, the minimum Squadron requirements must still be filled with standard Cruisers or Light Cruisers, and the Squadron cannot contain more models than its maximum Squadron Size.
This allows players to mix their new ships into their existing Squadrons and adds some Squadron flexibility. It adds some new strategies and really gives you some flavour for games at all the different point levels. Having a support ship like an Escort Carrier or some big guns like a Gunship really changes the dynamic of a given Squadron. You can add resiliency and firepower or support and protection. There are lots of possibilities and the ability to use your old ships in new ways and new roles within the fleet is pretty cool. This is great for the core races, but we realised this rule had been omitted from the updated OSO stats and it may have been causing some confusion and a little bit of ship envy. So please view this blog as adding some clarity – we are working on our Stat documents to improve them for you, and apologies for any confusion caused by this.
Marauders players can now rest easy as they can also benefit from the Mixed Cruiser Squadron rule. You can now officially use your new OSO Escort Carrier and OSO Light Cruisers in mixed Squadrons with your Standard Cruisers and Gunships. The rule is only applied to the Omnidyne Vessels and the Syndicate vessels within the Marauders Fleet Guide. These two fleets form the core of the two sides of the Marauder “Faction” as they are the founding members of the Syndicate Traders League and Omnidyne Special Operations.
Omnidyne Crews, as well as Syndicate Crews, train within their own organisations. Their tactics and regulations do not cross the faction lines. Omnidyne supplies and works with the pirates and corsairs of the rift when it suits their needs, but they don’t train their crews or teach them their tactics. It’s bad for business.
So get the reactors fired up, the weapons primed and get those ships out of dry dock and into action!
NOTE: A longer PDF detailing the Kurak’s build up to this campaign will be added to this blog as it reaches our Comms Array. We’ll pop a post on Facebook when it is ready for you.
Call To Action
That’s it for this blog and we hope the description of the Amber System has you fired up for a good fight! In our next update we’ll bring you a Zenian League view of the Amber System and detail off your first scenarios. We will need your help in this war, Admiral…
from Spartan Games http://ift.tt/2cZApV3