On Turn 3.9, it finally happened: Vice Admiral Corono received permission from Rebel High Command to open a serious offensive in the sector. Corono was a Bothan and considered himself something of a strategic genius, commanding from his Quasar Fire carrier the Freedom's Call
had spent three years playing cat-and-mouse with the Imperial forces, and he saw this as his chance.
In turn 3.7, his scouts revealed a substantial enemy presence in Ord Trasi, including one heavy Golan battlestation. Though the 3.8 recon mission was caught and never relayed its report, which would have included the completion of a second Golan platform (an oversight which would prove fatal), Corono shifted his flag to the recently completed Mon Calamari battleship the Premonition
, loaded two regiments of troopers and a lot of repair and medical supplies into Tender-1
, a pair of GR-75 transports, and ordered the attack on Ord Trasi to commence.
The first battle of Ord Trasi unfolded in two phases across more than a week and a half.
When the task forces first entered sensor range far from the planet of Ord Trasi, the Imperial fleet took up a defensive stance, using its cloud of TIE fighters to escort numerous Arquitens cruisers and increase their Defensive Level. The Empire, on alert because of their monitor station network, had its crews drilled to high readiness and sprang into action, with the Venator class Red Horizon
and its companion ships engaging in a feint attack intended to draw the Premonition
and the smaller MC-40a Kaya
in towards the heavy turbolasers of the orbital Golan stations.
In the same initial phases, the seven Y-wing bomber flights were designated by Vice Admiral Corono to play a key role in the fight, and each one was given dedicated escort by a companion flight of X-Wing fighters to keep TIE flights from intercepting by making it an inefficient use of their AF - with escort, disabling a Y-Wing flight would cost 5AF, and destroying it another 5AF. Carrier Squadron Mao'ti, with the Freedom's Call
commanding, would hold back from battle to preserve the striking power it gave to fighter flights with its repair and refueling bays.
No battle plan survives contact with the enemy, and the Empire and Alliance discovered this quickly in the first encounter at Ord Trasi. The feint led by the Red Horizon
ended far out of place and in sudden direct contact with the carrier squadron led by Freedom's Call
, which had been running on low power to evade enemy detection. The Carrack pocket cruisers and Venator had enormous firepower that sliced through the two Pelta class support carriers with ease, and only the heroic interception run of the Nebulon-B Frigate Mao'ti
against two Carrack cruisers allowed the Freedom's Call
to escape unharmed. With his carriers in danger, Vice Admiral Corono split his fighter forces, and ordered his Y-Wing flights to strike the Red Horizon and its feint, while the main fleet kept its distance from the Golan stations. The squadrons were successful beyond his hopes - a series of well-placed proton torpedoes from Coral Squadron
and its X-Wing escorts took down the Red Horizon
completely, and swift flanking attacks from detached CR-90 attack elements took out some of its Carrack escorts.
Both sides maneuvered and licked their wounds for almost four days after the initial contact, but a mistake on Vice Admiral Corono's part would determine the outcome of the battle.
The small Imperial squadron with two supply galleons was a tempting target, and when a repair and resupply run brought them around the far side of Ord Trasi's moon, Corono ordered the Premonition
into an attack run, and had the attendant support squadrons move to engage the remaining Venator class and its fighters to prevent them from protecting the supply galleons. However, the "repair maneuver" was a fake - the Golan platforms had been re-positioned to an orbital point between the moon and the planet, and the Premonition
was greeted by a hail of concussion missile and ion cannon fire which severed her main turbolaser power feeds, rendering the ship unable to fight back. While the rest of the fleet was busy keeping the Venator at a distance, the heavy stations cut the Premonition and her escorts to pieces while they tried to retreat. Corono escaped on the CR-90 Corvette Mistaken Identity
, and the squadrons led by Kaya
, along with the heroic Y-Wings of Coral Squadron
, did a lot of damage to the Empire's Carrack escorts in the meantime, but the loss of the Premonition
would be a serious blow.
The turn ended with disengagement by the Rebel forces, and preparation for the hyperjump back to Dubrillion. One CR-90 and one Sphyrna failed to disengage successfully, and were annihilated by the Venator and Arquitens cruisers, sadly. If there was one silver lining, it was that the Imperial forces hadn't struck the GR-75 transports, and so the fleet remained in good supply during the 3.9 Supply Phase while it was stuck in Ord Trasi - and the troop regiments within were going to able to return to garrison duty.