Assault on Covenant Orbital


As usual, our story takes place far beyond the civilized frontier in the benighted backwater known as Sector Six. This episode is zeroed in on the long running Imperial civil war here in the Rentlaw SubSector. Over the years, the “Loyalists”, led by Governor Hoewler have driven their rivals back to the capital planet of Rentlaw Prime. From here, the “Imperials” (led by Imperial Governor Donnos “the Pretender” Lackdust) maintain their slender and deteriorating claim to be the legitimate Imperial authority. Much like the Badab War of old, this appears as a contest between Imperial Nobles, with conflicting claims over who is the rightful ruler.

The Scenario
Just six months ago, the Loyalists resumed the offensive, and attacked into the Rentlaw home system and established staging bases in the outer planets and asteroids. The next step is to capture the Covenant Orbital Station above Rentlaw Prime itself. Phase 1 is to destroy the Imperialists ships and control the close orbital space.

The Loyalist Fleet

HMS Wheatstraw
The Flag ship of the Loyalist fleet, the Wheatstraw is an Imperial Battleship that was on station in the far reaches of Sector Six, and never received the recall to the Gothic Sector from six years ago. While it is believed her keel was laid on Mars itself, her millennia long journey to this time and place is a mystery waiting to be revealed. She comes to the battle after receiving a communication by chance from Governor Hoewler to report and support the attack on the Covenant Orbital and aid the war to remove the Pretender.

HMS Tanaka
The Tanaka was discovered two years ago when a servitor clerk at Klaendarii Base, whose mindwipe apparently did not remove all traces of initiative, re-discovered a mis-filed obscure entry in an inventory catalog. The Tanaka was found mothballed, orbiting an abandoned fuel processing asteroid in the Malathorne system. Curiously, with her multi deck Fighter facilities, she shares key features with the KCS Mary Shelly. Perhaps they share a common design ancestor.

RS Drache (the Dragon)
The Drache is the second battleship to carry the name, the first was destroyed 3 years ago by the Mary Shelley during the Battle of Two Moons. Almost the exact opposite of the Shelley in design, the Drache has an even distribution of firepower and mounts her fighter Squadrons in parasite racks below the hull. She differs from her predecessor by mounting more powerful secondary/AA mounts along her sides that replace the dual purpose assault pods.

Fighters and Tactical Ships
1st Sqn Space Wolf Land Speeders and Gunships
2nd Sqn Thunderbolt Fighters and Marauder
3rd Sqn Thunderbolt Fighters

The Imperial Fleet
Occurrences unthinkable in the more civilized parts of the galaxy, are commonplace this side of (and this far removed from) the Cicatrix Maledictum. The “Imperial” fleet consists of a coalition of mixed ship types, with an Imperial ship supported by a ship from a breakaway human Empire and Ork Mercenaries.

IS Idolon
The one “true” Imperial vessel, the Idolon is an extremely fast and agile Imperial Light Cruiser. Built with the agility of a fighter, she is supermaneuverable, and optimally designed for fast diving attack runs and quick evasive turns back into the target.

KCS Mary Shelley
Veteran of several battles, the Shelley has been extensively modified from her original configuration due to battle damage. She is a beast of a ship with an asymmetrical layout of her main batteries and a Fighter Launch & Recovery capability across 2 decks

This Ram Ship acquired its name from a notorious attack where the Kommisar Yardstikk flew straight into the torso of a major Traitor Titan during the battles for Toolenay. It is well known Yardstikk has accepted an unmatched amount of loot to fly again against new enemies.

Fighters and Tactical Ships
1st Sqn Thunderbolts
2nd Sqn Tau Barracuda, Piranhas, Hammerhead
3rd Sqn Dakka Jets (Pirates of Jeaux)

The Battle
The Loyalists transitioned in from warp slightly out of formation, and ended up somewhat more spread out that the Imperials.

The Loyalist ships have heavier throw weight, but the Imperial ships are faster. 

The TitanSpika and the Idolon cut across the bow of the Wheatstraw...

...while the Drache and Mary Shelley make a straight broadside pass
The Shelley scores a silver BB, and cripples the maneuvering system of the Drache. She careens out of the battlespace (for now)

The Wheatstraw drives ponderously forward to the center, to dominate the space with her massive firepower, while the Idolon and TitanSpika circle, seeking out weak points.

All 3 Imperial ships range onto the Wheatstraw, and the Tanaka makes a navigational error taking her from the battle. 

The Wheatstraw still has most of her guns, but the heavy damage is taking its toll. She struggles to maintain headway.

and then the TitanSpika sees her chance, and with the directness of an Ork, smashes head on into the Wheatstraw!

The Captain of the Idolon has his blood up and follows the TitanSpika right in!

The carnage is incredible and the fused hulls spin out of control away from the station...

The collision is shocking, but on the bridge of the Mary Shelley, Captain Thuries maintains his composure. It is obvious that with 2 of her 3 main batteries out of action, 

and her fighter wing depleted, 

she is no match for the untouched Tanaka and the crippled Drache as they are nearly completing their turns back into range.

"Recover our Bulldogs, and plot a transition to warp. We cannot do anything more here except die."

...and the Shelley leaves the space of Covenant Orbital in the hands of the loyalists...


I know it's been awhile. I have been gaming, but unfortunately, not documenting it on the blog. So as you can see, the group and myself got 6 (COUNT 'EM, SIX!) capital ships together and had a huge battle.
The rules were a combination of the old SpaceFleet pre-plotted movement system and Apocalypse stats for the Pew Pew parts. That let us use the fighter Datacards straight from the Apoc game.

I designed and printed a "Helm Computer" for each Captain...
and a "Command Computer" for each Fighter Squadron.
...and all the Captains got to take theirs home!

It was a great day (...and I sneakily scheduled it for my Birthday :) )

...for you eagle eyed fans, yes I have dropped the use of the 4th Reich, and retconned that they see themselves as the rightful "Loyalists" over the actual Imperial government. There's nothing politically motivated about the change (they're still Space Nazis, and still the bad guys), but there are some HUGE changes coming to my gaming life that make this narrative change very attractive to me.
I'm not quite ready to share the details, but very soon there will be some shocking news, and it will all make sense.

I know it's been awhile, but I hope a bunch of you have questions and comments, I'd love to hear from you.

Thanks for your patience, and thanks for looking!


  1. I am very much meaning to snarkily schedule something in a rather similar fashion. I am deeply glad to see the fruit of Project Iowa still fighting and the Kingdom of Colores still free, if besieged. Keep up the good fight and I'll keep an ear to Red Route One to see if there's a need for assistance that can be answered.

    1. This was such a success, and we learned so much that I imagine we will be posting invitations for the next one. Keep your eyes peeled.

  2. Sounds like a great time! I wish you would bring one of these games to MillenniumCon!

    1. I would love to bring a game over. Would they allow us the floor space?

    2. That's something you would need to take up with the organizers, but I bet you could figure something out. How much space do you need?

    3. 20'x20' at least, 20'x30' would be better

    4. Dang! You would need a whole convention room to yourself!

    5. Yeah, each "space" was 3'x3'. We could fit the Fighters on smaller ones, but that's what you need for the capital ships.

  3. This all makes me so happy. Speaking of happy, HAPPY BIRTHDAY! I remember playing a lot of space fleet gothic with my brother when I was pretty young. Did you have 'squares' marked out on the floor, or the tables labeled? Or did you shimmy tables around the room to denote the manoeuvring?

    1. Both. We put small pieces of painters tape on the floor in a grid and all ships and fighters were on tables that we moved around unless they were crossing the station (the Apoc table in the middle)

      Thanks for the Birthday wishes!

  4. I'm with Desert Scribe here, this would play well at MillenniumCon!

  5. You don't do things by halves! Spectacular as always!

  6. Love to see that sector six is alive and well.
    Always something entertaining.
    Looking forward to seeing what you do with this new "Loyalist" faction.
    Happy Birthday as well.

    1. No problem. I hope to see more in the future. And I hope all is well with you.

  7. Amazing!

    Can you give us some details about the game play? Those dashboards look very intriguing, particularly with the deck of maneuver cards.

    And the new ships! Tell us about the new ships! Wheatstraw and Tanaka look like they were made from 3d printed parts?

    1. Spot On... The Tanaka came first and was Crispin's first stab at 3d Printing a ship. As you can probably see, he designed it as a carrier with a playset of the SHIELD Heli-Carrier as the top deck. For the Wheatstraw hw went for the Battleship look and really jumped into design of all the parts.

      As for the rules, we used the OOP GW Spacefleet pre-plotted movement system. It's very simple and only utilizes a 4 point compass. If you look at the pics, you can see all ships are always parallel or at 90' angles. Everyone selects a Maneuver from their Deck, and then places the card face down in their Helm Computer. Once everyone has picked a Maneuver, the Cards are flipped and all the ships are moved to their new position and heading.

      Then for combat, we used the Apocalypse Rules. Basically we took a bunch of the "Imperial Fortifications" stats, simplified them down a little bit and glued them together. So the ships were a collection of "Modules". This let us use Fighters (Flyers) with ready made Data Sheets (stats) right from the go. Everybody then was shooting "at" and "from" these modules. Also Apoc has the separate "Damage Phase" after all the shooting so you don't have to worry about firing order. Everything shoots, then at the end, everything rolls for Damage.

      As the maneuvers were displayed on the cards, and the stats were straight forward, even the non-gamers understood it right out of the gate.

      The "Helm Computer" (or "Squadron Command Display")was where you placed the maneuver card for the turn and tracked the damage for each module.

      Does that cover all your questions?

    2. Yes, and thank you. I love it when people glue a grab bag of rules together and it works out!

      Like everyone i would not mind a closer photo tour of the ships :)

    3. I will take that feedback and make some ship profiles in the next post (or posts)

  8. Wow. Every time I think I've seen your best you prove me wrong. Anything I could say would be such an understatement! Congrats, this is so fantastic

    1. Thanks Suber!
      Next time we want to run a scenario of "Ships v Titans"
      Isn't there a Stompa out there somewhere that would like a good scrap?

  9. It is so good to see you back. Your eye candy is always worth the look. Try not to be gone so long - I have found over the last two years that when someone goes off grid for more than a month there is a better than even chance they have passed on from Covid-19.

    1. Oof, that's a hard change in expectations. I will definitely try to communicate more often.
      Thanks for the kind words. We definitely had a lot of fun.

    2. This game and these ships has blown my mind!

  10. Oh, but to have the peeps with those ships and that space! I am in awe of this battle. It must have been so much fun!
    (And Happy Belated Birthday!)

  11. Howdy! I am just hitting you up to see how you are doing.

    1. Hey Commissar,
      Doing great, and lots of gaming. Just not documenting it very much right now. I have some ideas about getting back into it, but we will see. I hope you are well and thanks for checking in.

    2. No problem and great to hear. I guess i am in the same boat as you. So, hope to see your posts again soon.


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