Part 01: Project Inspiration

Day of the Juggernaut
A Star Frontiers Knight Hawks scenario

by William Tracy
Dragon Magazine, #91, pg. 74

In the weeks following the famed Battle for Volturnus (detailed in the module SF2, Starspawn of Volturnus), the Sathar made no threatening moves against the Frontier. The atmosphere in the UPF was tense for weeks, but gradually calm returned and military forces were taken off their heightened alert status. Just as the races of the UPF were feeling safe again, the Sathar initiated a new attack.

While an assault scout from Scree Fron was on patrol on the outer edge of that star system, the scout came under attack from a gigantic ship that had just exited the Void nearby. The scout was able to send out a distress call before being destroyed, and it reported that the huge ship was heading for the inhabited world of Hakosoar.

Whether by pure good fortune or with the knowledge of the Sathar (who may have seen this as a test of their fighting vessel), a recently reorganized Strike Force NOVA was present at Hakosoar. Instantly, the force admiral ordered his fleet to defend the planet at all costs, and the fight was joined.

Unknown to the UPF, the gigantic ship was an experimental Sathar war machine, a prototype completely automated and commanded by onboard computer systems and robots. Its mission was to reach Hakosoar and orbit the planet three times, bombarding the major cities with space-to-ground missiles. Though of horrifying size, the war machine was the only one of its kind. The Sathar built only one Juggernaut, since the cost was enormous, but they were willing to consider building other robot ships if this one proved itself against the Federation's best.

Sathar Forces

SAV Juggernaut (robot warship)

HP 480 ADF 1 MR 1 DCR 300

Weapons: DC, LB (x8), PB (x2), EB (x4), T (space-to-ground missiles) (x16), RB (x20)

Defenses: RH, ES, PS, SS, ICM (x24)

The Juggernaut carried a new type of robotic short-range fighter, known to the Federation as the Scorpion (hull size 2). The fighters were programmed for launch the moment a UPFS vessel came within 100,000 km (10 hexes) of the Juggernaut.

20 Scorpions

HP 10 ADF 3 MR 3 DCR 29

Weapons: LB

Defenses: RH

UPFS forces (Strike Force NOVA)

UPFS Admiral Clinton (battleship)

HP 120 ADF 2 MR 2 DCR 200

Weapons: DC, LB (x3), PB, EB (x2), S (x4), T (x8), RB (x10)

Defenses: RH, ES, PS, SS, ICM (x12)

UPFS Zamra and Grak (heavy cruisers)

HP 80 ADF 2 MR 1 DCR 120

Weapons: LB (x2), PB, EB, DC, S (x2), T (x4), RB (x8)

Defenses: RH, ES, PS, SS, ICM (x8)

UPFS Courage and Glory (light cruisers)

HP 70 ADF 3 MR 2 DCR 70

Weapons: DC, LB, EB, PB, RB (x6), T (x4)

Defenses: RH, ES, SS, ICM (x8)

UPFS Shimmer, Zz'Nakk, Z'Gata, and Driadia (frigates)

HP 40 ADF 4 MR 3 DCR 70

Weapons: LC, RB (x4), LB, T (x2)

Defenses: RH, MS (x2), ICM (x4)

UPFS Scimitar, Dagger, Rapier, Lancet, and Razor (assault scouts)

HP 15 ADF 5 MR 4 DCR 50

Weapons: AR (x4), LB

Defenses: RH

Scenario set-up

A planet counter should be placed in hex 2819, in the center of the Knight Hawks space map; this is the planet Hakosoar. Note that Hakosoar has five natural satellites, but for the purposes of this scenario they need not be placed on the mapboard.

The Juggernaut, with all fighters aboard it, will enter the game map from either of the "shorter" sides of the rectangular map. Initially, it will have a speed of 5 hexes/turn, and will be decelerating so that it may enter orbit around Hakosoar. Once a spacecraft has reached a speed of 1 hex/turn and moves into a hex adjacent to Hakosoar (without heading directly into the planet), it may take up orbit around that world at a constant speed of 1 hex/turn.

The UPFS player may place his starships anywhere on the game map; the ships may start up to 5 hexes/turn, facing in any direction. The UPFS player automatically knows in which direction the Juggernaut is approaching and may arrange his forces accordingly.

Tactics and victory conditions

The Juggernaut will head immediately for Hakosaor, and will (initially, at least) let its Scorpions take care of the UPFS ships. It will not fire any of its space-to-ground missiles until it reaches the planet, then will fire 1 missile per turn at the planet as its orbits the world, bombarding the major residential and industrial centers. The ship may, of course, fire any of its weapons systems at attacking UPFS ships while bombarding the planet.

Once it finishes firing all of its missiles, the Juggernaut will attempt to flee. If it leaves the mapboard, regardless of how many UPFS ships are chasing it, it is assumed to have escaped and made it into the Void without further damage. If the Juggernaut is destroyed or leaves the map at any time, the Scorpions will self-destruct and will not attempt to be picked up by their parent ship.

If the UPFS ships destroy the Juggernaut before it reaches Hakosoar to begin its bombardment, the Federation wins the battle. If the Juggernaut is able to orbit the planet but fires fewer than six missiles before it is destroyed, the Federation wins a marginal victory. If the UPFS ships cannot stop the Juggernaut from bombing the planet, but destroy the war machine before it can leave the map, the game is a draw. If the Juggernaut can escape from the mapsheet, the Sathar have won.

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