Decisive Alliance victory
Destruction of the Syndic shipyards in Sancere
Destruction of Sancere hypernet gate
Unknown CEOs (KIA)
19 Battle Cruisers
18 Battle Cruisers
|1 ship seriously damaged
|All ships destroyed or|
Industrial facilities and shipyards destroyed Hypernet Gate destroyed
The Battle of Sancere was a confrontation between the Alliance and Syndicate Worlds during the Alliance-Syndicate War. It was the first major victory for commanding officer Captain John Geary, and also the first battle to involve Task Force Furious, an elite formation within Geary's fleet.
The attack on Sancere was a risky plan of Geary's to defeat the vital Syndic shipyards and the large fleet present in the system. Geary's biggest objective here, however, was to use the Syndic hypernet gate there to escape from Syndic territory and return to Alliance space.
Though the Syndics were heavily outnumbered during the battle, Geary was forced to send out the outnumbered Task Force Furious so that he could draw the Syndics away from the hypernet gate. The Syndics also had the advantage of defending in their own system, such as military bases and kinetic projectiles that they could launch. Finally, the Syndics were prepared to destroy their own hypernet gate to prevent Geary's fleet escaping, which could have destroyed the entire system.
Geary's attempts to draw the Syndics from the gate failed, and he was forced to attack them head-on, causing them to open fire on the gate. Geary, realising that the gate's collapse could destroy the fleet, lead Dauntless, Diamond and Daring to stabilise the gate, and when that failed, to destroy it safely. Geary succeeded, saving the fleet, though his way home was destroyed in the process.
The destruction of the shipyards caused immeasurable damage to the Syndicate's economy and also impaired their ability to react to the Alliance's movements. This was one of the major victories that ensured the Alliance's victory in the war.
Geary decided to head to Sancere before the mutiny at Strabo because it would involve taking an unexpected route (to Strabo, back into Syndic territory), so the Syndics wouldn't suspect that Geary would attack it. Furthermore, the jump point to Sancere was risky because of its length, and so it would have seemed impossible for the Alliance fleet to reach Sancere from Strabo.
When the rest of the fleet were informed of Geary's decision to attack Sancere, there was immediate arguing. Because Captain Desjani was worried that Captain Falco might have attempted to lead the fleet into rebellion (which he later did), she had him "medically checked", preventing him from interfering with the rest of the fleet.
The main opposition to Geary's plan came (predictably) from Captain Numos, who both accused Geary with cowardice (for heading to Strabo) and then recklessness (for heading to Sancere). This opposition proved to have been pushed to breaking point when they were united by Falco and mutinied at Strabo.
Geary prepared for the battle by working out what the Syndics would attempt to do. Figuring that they would be defending the gate, Geary formed a group of the 30 best ship commanders in his fleet with which he planned to draw out the Syndic defenders. He placed this group under the command of Commander Jaylen Cresida, and the group was named Task Force Furious.
Commanders in Task Force Furious included Commander Cresida and Commander Neeson. The Force was meant to make a feint at the fifth planet in the Sancere system, then break away as the Syndic vanguard protecting the hypernet gate charged to protect their system.
Sancere was a busy shipping lane. With a hypernet gate and 6 jump points, merchants came through Sancere, and the system was even more important because of the shipyards and military value.
The hypernet gate was located 2 light hours behind a large gas giant. Sancere had 8 planets, each with several military bases and orbital defenses surrounding them. The Syndics had one small training flotilla that defended the system, along with unfinished craft. A second group of Syndic warships would later come, acting as a vanguard to prevent the Alliance fleet from escaping the system.
Task Force Furious' attackEdit
The battle of Sancere began when Geary began to pick targets for a kinetic bombardment before the Syndics had even realised Geary was in their system. Geary ordered a kinetic bombardment of two military bases- one on the eighth planet, and one on the fifth planet.
The action began when Warhelm attacked and destroyed a Syndic monitoring satellite. Geary then ordered Cresida to begin her attack against the numerically superior Syndic force. She also planned to, after this, head in to (pretend to) attack the fifth planet at close range.
Meanwhile, Geary's plan involved heading towards a gas giant close to the gate, where it would seem as though his target was the military installations there. After a fifty-three hour journey, Geary's objective would suddenly switch to the hypernet gate, leaving the Sydnics with little time to respond. Geary hoped to escape then.
After Desjani pointed out that Geary's left wing was close to merchant shipping, Geary ordered the Fourth Cruiser division and Sixth/Seventh Destroyer Squadrons to engage the merchant ships and destroy them, though he gave the merchants time to evacuate first.
The Alliance ships then launched a bombardment on the unfinished battleships and battle cruisers in the system, beginning a systematic wave of destruction that spread across the system. Geary watched as the fleet's bombardments struck the orbital defences, and admitted to Desjani that he was sad watching people die without being given time to respond to the threat.
A damaged Syndic force from battle with the Alliance now jumped into the system, expecting to be repaired. The battleships and battle cruisers had all taken a lot of damage, and most of their escorts had been destroyed. They were in no state to attack the Alliance fleet. This became the Syndic's vanguard and quickly fell back to protect the hypernet gate.
Syndic force alpha, the training flotilla which had been garrisoning the system, now began an attack on Task Force Furious. As the two formations charged towards each other, Cresida moved her ships upwards, leading to a quick engagement. The Syndics tried to turn to engage Cresida's ships again, but did so in an uncoordinated way, their formation dissolving as some were able to pivot round to attack the Alliance and others shot off into the distance. Cresida now rotated around again, attacking the Syndic unprotected flanks, focusing the formation's fire on one side of their enemy.
Cresida then moved back around, ordering another pass. The Syndic commander now ordered a new formation, arranging his heaviest units on his flanks and placing his cruisers and escorts in the central formation to protect them. Cresida arranged her ships in single line formation, and they swerved again to the flanks, focusing their firepower on a single Syndic battleship, which was destroyed. As the Syndics turned for another pass, Cresida disengaged and headed for the incomplete battleship and battle cruiser being moved out of the battle, and the shipyards they came from.
As Cresida headed to the shipyards, Syndic force Alpha turned again, accelerating at high speeds as they crossed Cresida's formation. The high speed of the Syndic force, travelling at a quarter of the speed of light, meant that Cresida's formation could not achieve any hits on them. Geary, Desjani and Rione realised that the Syndics were attempting to minimise the damage done to them whilst distracting Cresida's task force. Geary theorised that he was probably meant to head for the hypernet gate, where the Syndics would destroy the gate, unleashing enough power to destroy the fleet.
Realising that the Syndics would have to load overrides on their warships to stop the ships from leaving before they had destroyed the gate, and so they would be unable to maneuver freely if this happened. Geary decided to use this to his advantage, firing kinetic projectiles at the helpless ships.
Attack on the Hypernet gateEdit
Geary split his forces into six sections, each one made up of some capital ships and their escorts. This meant that the Alliance fleet would hit the Syndic vanguard in waves, meaning that each formation would only have a glancing engagement with the enemy, minimising losses and allowing Geary's forces to all attack individually (if they were in a larger formation, then they would not all be able to shoot on the enemy as friendly units would be in the way).
The kinetic projectiles from the Alliance ships hit the Syndic ships, which couldn't move out of the way. This damaged them just as the first Alliance formation swung in to attack the Syndics. The damaged Syndics could not survive as the first wave hit them, destroying several ships. The battle turned into a massacre as the second wave moved in to finish off their enemies.
The Syndic vanguard moved forwards to attack a formation led by Duellos. Duellos' capital ships moved upwards, avoiding the Syndic ships, but still allowing Duellos to fire on the enemy craft. His escorts swung about, attacking the enemy formation's flanks. The Syndics disintegrated under heavy fire, and the remains tried to ram Courageous out of the way for their escape; however, they were destroyed.
The third and fourth waves (commanded by Tulev and Geary) now attacked the ships at the rim of the gate. The vanguard was taking heavy losses and was all but annihilated by the time that Geary's wave swept in.
What remained of the vanguard now opened fire on the hypernet gate tethers, planning to destroy it to prevent the Alliance from using it. Geary realised that the gate had taken too much damage, and proceeded to move most of his fleet away from the gate. However, the fourth wave- under his command- was still close to the hypernet gate. Geary led some of the ships in the formation- Dauntless, Daring and the Fourth Cruiser Division-in a risky attempt to stabilise the gate.
The formation attacked the remnants of the vanguard in a charge. The final ship, however, managed to fire on the cruisers, damaging two. A third cruiser fell back from the battle. The fourth, Diamond, managed to twist away from the shots, and continued to head for the gate. Dauntless let loose a broadside, destroying the lone defender.
Duantless, Daring and Diamond now attempted to stabilise the gate using Cresida's system that she designed. The continuous firing of the guns meant several overheated, leaving the ships with little firepower. As the gate continued to collapse, it became apparent that stabilisation was impossible, and the purpose of the operation became trying to limit the damage. Diamond lost firepower, but its propulsion system had failed, leaving it stranded at the mouth of the gate. Panic was high on the three ships, though Desjani was calm and managed to keep the crew of Dauntless working well.
Though the general feeling was that they would all be destroyed, the hypernet gate did eventually collapse, producing little energy thanks to the system Cresida designed. Dauntless, Daring and Diamond all survived the collapse. Dauntless returned to the fleet, whilst Daring remained with Diamond, waiting for an auxiliary to repair Diamond's engine problems.
The collapse of the hypernet gate caused devestation across Sancere, frying most military installations that the Syndics had left. The Syndic training flotilla remained lurking away from the Alliance fleet, and Geary decided to rotate Task Force Furious out so that Cresida's group could resupply.
At a fleet conference, Geary sent marines to escort the subformations as they went to loot the remaining repair ships in the system. He kept a guard watching the Syndic force still present in the system, before leaving to talk to Rione. The two ended up sleeping together.
Colonel Carabali warned Geary that because of the damage done by Alliance bombardment, the atmospheres of Sancere's planets, making it impossible for the marines to tell if the Syndics had any surviving ground-to-orbit guns that they could use to attack the formation now approaching the planet.
Geary sent out reconnaissance drones from Duellos' formation to check the atmosphere, whilst keeping ships out of low orbit. Duellos ordered random evasive moves, which was lucky because the Syndic's weapons opened fire. The Sydnics achieved near misses on the Alliance fleet. Later on, Daring took fire from a Syndic cannon, though they missed. Daring destroyed the cannon with ease.
The marines landed on an orbital city planning to loot it and bring all the resources back to the auxiliaries. After securing the warehouses, Syndic soldiers started to attack the Marines, wearing the costume of civilians, running out, attacking Marines and then pulling back into the crowds again.
Carabali operated a kill zone around the warehouse, telling all civilians to move out of the kill zone so that the Marines could fight back without risking civilian life. After fifteen minutes, the Alliance began to use heavy ordnance against the surviving soldiers, blowing buildings to pieces. The orbital city took great damage, but the Syndic special forces were defeated.
It took a day to move the food from the city onto the Alliance warships. During this time, Geary rested and interrogated prisoners about the Syndicate way of life, during which he discovered that the Syndicate Worlds broadcast propaganda about the Alliance losing and that the Syndics were motivated by their home planet and family.
The Final EngagementEdit
The remains of the Syndic defenders began moving after a few days, planning on attacking each of the Alliance's subformations in turn and overwhelming them one by one. Geary knew that he couldn't attack them because doing so would mean stopping his operations in Sancere, and chasing the enemy. The enemy would be able to evade capture, leading to a useless chase around the system whilst Syndic reinforcements came in.
Geary set up a trap, enticing the Syndics with a formation made up of lightly escorted warships and an auxiliary ship (Goblin). This was formation Gamma for the battle. Formation Delta, now double its size, and Formation Bravo, also double its size, waited on either side of the Syndics as they charged forwards, whilst another formation continued to loot materials. Task Force Furious acted as a vanguard, preventing the enemy ships from escaping.
As formation Gamma seemed to slow down to protect Goblin, the Syndic ships charged straight into the minefield they had been laying. Formations Delta and Bravo then began charging for the Syndic's flanks, breaking to engagement speed, whilst Formation Gamma escaped by pivoting upwards and then accelerating out of the way of the Syndic ships, firing as they escaped. The Syndic's shots fell into empty space.
Though several warships in Formation Gamma were damaged, none were destroyed, and Formation Bravo and Gamma rolled around over the top of the Syndic warships, spitting out fire at them. Though Geary called for their surrender, none came. As the formations came round for their second attack, the flagship of the enemy ship suffered a core overload, signalling the end of the battle.
Battle of IlionEdit
Geary left Sancere quite quickly, heading to Ilion to meet with the mutineers whom he was sure would need his help there. This would become the Battle of Ilion.
Whilst in transit time, Tyrosian's auxiliaries prepared mines that Cresida would need for Operation Barricade in the battle. Ships were also repaired with these materials, ready for this battle. The materials were needed to patch ups several ships damaged in the Battle of Vidha.
Economic effects on the Syndicate WorldsEdit
Becuase of this devastating battle, the Syndics were unable to respond as readily as they had done in the past. The massive attack took out a large chunk of the Syndic navy, and the damage to the shipyards prevented the Syndics from making up the casualties. The destruction of the hypernet gate slowed shipping through Sancere, making it difficult for the Syndics to move their resources and what little they had left from Sancere to other planets.
A lot of materials were used to repair ships that had fought in the Battle of Vidha and the Battle of Ilion. Other materials were mainly used to fabricate new fuel cells. Some were used for the development of new ammunition and weaponry that the Alliance could use, however, due to a system failure, very little of this was made, instead, the auxiliaries focused on building new fuel cells.
The fleet had a shortage of raw materials again very quickly- by the time the Alliance reached Baldur star system, the auxiliaries were reporting low supplies of some vital materials.
Alliance casualties were very low. No ships were destroyed, although several were seriously damaged. The first of these was Diamond, a cruiser that was damaged by the collapse of the hypernet gate in Sancere whilst Daring was trying to stabilise it.
Several ships in Formation Gamma took heavy damage when they were used as bait to draw the Syndic flotilla into the final engagement. Goblin, a vital auxiliary ship, took several hits, slowing her down but not seriously damaging her. Leviathan, Steadfast, Dragon and Valiant were all damaged members of Formation Gamma.
Neither any ships in the reformed Formations Bravo and Gamma were damaged as they attacked the remains of the Syndic flotilla.
Just about every Syndicate ship was destroyed. Some Hunter-Killers managed to escape, though they had been heavily damaged. These ships carried news of the Battle of Sancere to other Sydnic ships, however, the Alliance left before these could arrive.
A possible Syndic flotilla could have been heading to Sancere when the hypernet gate collapsed, leaving them trapped in space. This would also have affected the Syndicate World's ability to fight back, leading to higher casualties than first thought. After this battle, Syndics found themselves spread very thinly, an issue that became worse after the Second Battle of Lakota.
- ↑ As Cresida led Task Force Furious in this battle, she is considered a commander.