A Kill Kroozer is a relatively broad term for a cruiser-class warship of the ork species. Cobbled together from whatever materials are available—including the hulks of Imperial and xeno vessels—Kill Kroozers consist of a bewildering variety of weapons, propulsion systems, and capabilities. Almost always, hoever, they are armed with heavy weapons batteries, torpedo launchers, and heavy prow armor.—.Encyclopedia Imperious Nautico, 649.M40 Edition
09:43—The Imperial task force turns to port and steers clear of all nearby gas clouds.
09:56—Da Butcher and the surviving Ramship energe from the gas cloud to the port of the Imperial ships. This time, Captain Hypatos has time to react to the ork approach. He orders All Ahead Full!, but for a variety of reasons, the order is not followed.
10:03—The ork ships close on the Imperial flotilla. Da Butcher targets the frigates and destroys one.
10:06—The Imperial ships turn so that they can target the orks with broadsides. The shields of the ork ships are weakened but hold against the attack.
10:08—Da Butcher targets the Spear of Argos and weakens its shields. No damage is done.
Tactical Observation: Although there was sound logic to Captain Hypatos’ maneuvers, the orks’ turn into the gas cloud put them in the perfect position to resume their attack before the Imperial ships were in optimal position.
The Imperial flotilla was vulnerable. It could turn into the orks and fire a broadside, but this would make the cruiser vulnerable to ramming. Captain Hypato’s attempt to run and again seek to fight at long range was his best option, but the damaged patrol apparently could not coordinate their efforts.
10:14—The orks move in for the kill. The Ramship successfully rams the Imperial frigate. It is destroyed, but the collision causes severe damage to the Imperial ship.
Da Butcher fires at the cruiser, bringing down its shields. At this point, the cumulative damage suffered by the Spear of Argos has put the warship in critical condition. Tech Priests report that there will be a marked decline in the effectiveness of the cruiser’s weaponry and maneuverability.
10:18—Captain Hypatos orders all ships to break off. The frigates are far enough away from the orks to quickly escape, and they are ordered to leave the cruiser behind.
10:32—The crippled Spear of Argos is vulnerable to capture or destruction. The orks are close, and the ship can no longer maneuver at full speed. Captain Hypatos orders the ship to head toward a nearby asteroid field, shut down all non-essential systems, and hide amidst the rocks until the orks lose interest and depart.
The Spear of Argos remained in the asteroid field, suffering minor damage from passing asteroids, for two days while the orks searched for the hiding vessel.
The orks finally called off their hunt and disappeared into the asteroids upon the arrival of an Imperial flotilla, consisting of three cruisers and six escort ships, that were sent to find the Spear of Argos—or seek revenge for its destruction.
Tactical Observation: Despite Imperial losses, Patrol 17-01 was fortunate. The ork ambush had every chance of destroying all four Imperial ships.The initial attack by the ork Ramships not only did little damage, but two of the small but deadly warships were destroyed by their collisions with the larger Imperial cruiser.
This greatly altered the tactical situation, and gave the patrol an opportunity to not only survive—but turn the tables on the xenos.
Despite evasive maneuvers, the orks managed to regain the tactical advantage later in the battle—and destroyed a frigate and critically damaged the Spear of Argos. Only by cunning and guile did Captain Hypatos avoid complete defeat to his crippled vessel.
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