I’m combining two weeks of the game here, partly because I’ve been swamped with work and school, and patly because — while things happened — thematically, I thought these would work well together.

The Pegasus side-plot has been going well, and is racing toward its conclusion. The small, embattled task force under Admiral Cain has been doing hit-and-run and recon missions for a few weeks (actual and game time) and finally had made contact with the more coherent resistance movements on Aquaria and Libran — the planets least destroyed by the Cylon attacks with an eye to establishing a beachhead.

Two operations were envisioned, with the PC — Commander Oscari late of Hecate, and now CO of Aegis, making good changes to their tactical operations, from having raptors launch prior to staging an attack, and jumping in with the capital ships to provide more immediate electronic warfare support, to pushing a series of preemptive strikes on the Cylon’s quickly dwindling capital resources before attempting to free the two Colonies.

His suggestions lead to OPERATION SUCKER PUNCH — where  two pronged attack on Cylon basestars is planned and executed as a lead in to OPERATION RETURN. This mission picked two basestars providing CAP over Sagittaron and Persephone — a dwarf planet on the outskirts of Cyrannus “Helios Alpha” that is home to military bases and tylium mines the Cylons have been using.

The Colonial intelligence shows that the Cylons have half a dozen basestars left in the Colonies, and two battlestars they had taken during the conflict. Everything else is MIA or was confirmed destroyed in the Civil War with the humanoid Cylons (or “Seraph” as the Blaze called them.) Much of their CAPs over the Colonies are composed of hordes of older-style raiders — easier and quicker to make, and specifically created for anti-ship missile use, which makes them less efficacious against the Viper MK VII. There are thousands of these things over most of the planets, but they are also an older design without jump capability. The ultimate strategy is to wipe out their capital ships and then pick off the lighter craft as they can, while coordinating the ground resistance movements into a coherent force.

SUCKER PUNCH goes off with a massive battle over Sagittaron. A couple of lucky first hits by the Cylons were negated with judicious plot point use, and Aegis came away relatively unscathed, while Hecate was hit hard, but remained operational. They were able to kill the basestar, and the fighter groups rolled remarkably well, dropping raiders handily and only losing a dozen or so of their air wing…however, with 8-1 odds, they did not destroy the fighter screen for the planet, and were unable to conduct orbital bombardment on Cylon industrial sites on the planet.

After returning to Ragnar Anchorage, where the task force has been taking refuge, they learn Pegasus and her air group were successful in destroying their basestar and hitting the mines and bases on the surface of Persephone.

SUCKER PUNCH was a massive success and the task force now is balanced against their foes…the Cylons have four basestars and two battlestars; the Colonials have finally repaired Ares, a post-First Cylon War Columbia-class battlestar and Cain impresses the civilians from their support ships to help run it. With Ares and Pegasus as their heavies, Aegis and Hecate as light battlestars, the players and NPCs felt confident enough to queue OPERATION RETURN.

The mission in broad strokes was to have the southern and northern resistance cells — each about batallion to brigade-sized attack Heim and Kyros, the two cites the toasters are based in, after orbital bombardment by the light battlestars (the heavies are providing high orbit overwatch, in case the basestars show up…) After bombing their infrastructure, select squadrons with provide air support for the resistance, which will go in, clean up the Cylon menace, grab any ordinance, fighters, etc. they can and secure any operational manufactories.

Worried that the lower-ranked, inexperienced officers might not be up to the task of coordinating such an operation, Cain assigns Oscari to the ground mission (mostly so we could see some of this action…) He finds the resistance with 6000 fighters at the ready, complete with snowmobiles, tracked trucks, some heavy weapons they’ve recovered from the Aquarian militia and Colonial Marines, as well as home-made anti-personnel mines and mortars. After tightening the plans, the GO order is given and the troops start to move toward their targets…

Off-screen, the liberation of Libran, which is lightly defended with Cylons mostly operating in two cities, is depending on the Libran resistance — which has a large contingent of Colonial Marines, and the Libran Sea Service (their coast guard) in their ranks and is led by one of the higher ranking officers of the LSS. The commander of Hecate had crafted a plan — a Carossian Lure — based on a historical battle. (Sort of our equivalent of the Trojan Horse.)

The Carossian Lure was a strategy from the Battle of Caros, between the forces of King Darius IV of Leonis and the upstart kingdom of Caros, under King Taro Vespar. (A distant ancestor of one of the senior officers, Colonel Vespasian.) Caros was the capital of the island of Cirrus — a famed resort for centuries. Darius launched a massive attack on Cirrus and besieged Caros for weeks, before finally the city was raided. What they didn’t know was Taro had evacuated the city through ancient catacombs over the space of the fighting, and a small force was left behind to draw in the Darian forces. With the town in their hands, they were shocked to find themselves suddenly surrounded by Cirran forces, and key portions of the city near the gates were set alight. At that point (and this was a period in Leonine history where gunpowder and artillery, and explosives were still relatively new) the catacombs were blown by sappers, destroying much the city and Darius’ force.

In this version, the Colonials are using their armed tender Demosthenes and a lightly armed exploration vessel, Striker, both under skeleton crews, to lure in the Cylons, get as many of their raiders as close as possible (and inside their jump effect bubble) and let them board the vessels, then jump the whole show right on top of the main Cylon bases on the surface of the world. Hopefully, they kill tens to hundreds of raiders, destroy their bases and infrastructure, and decimate (or worse) the Cylon forces, leaving the Librans to wipe out the remaining toasters at their leisure.

If they can pull this off — they’ve got two beachheads in one day, and lose two ships they had marginal use for. With the loss of the two basestars from SUCKER PUNCH, they are hoping to shift the initiative and balance of power to the Colonials.

Next week — the battle of Aquaria.