Stellaris

The Battle of Shambhala (2413)

stellaris 7 - The Battle of Shambhala (2413)
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https://preview.redd.it/h9650li02rd61.png?width=1920&format=png&auto=webp&s=519e0336c93c08bacb0502ffb10199613b542327

In mid-2413, nineteen years into the War in Heaven, the Ox'Braxian Enforcers staged a daring raid on Shambhala, capital of the League of Non-Aligned Powers (and humanity's adopted home planet following the destruction of Earth in 2243). This attack was made possible by the system's proximity to an L-Gate, one which lay largely undefended at the time due to the Shambhalan Federal Navy being deployed against the Lahtrepian Fanatics on the far side of the galaxy.

The Ox'Braxian fleet, estimated at 220k fleet power, easily disabled the system's starbase and began an orbital bombardment. With its capital under siege, the Shambhalan Federation quickly redeployed its 1st and 2nd fleets (95k fleet power each) to the Terminal Egress system and stationed them at the system's Gateway, preparing to engage the enemy. The 3rd fleet was besieging the Lahtrepian capital system at the time and could not participate.

At the appointed time, the two fleets traveled through the Gateway and arrived over Shambhala, immediately entering heavy close-quarters combat as they counterattacked the surprised Ox'Braxians. Although the 1st and 2nd fleets had two Titans between them, SFS Judgement Day and SFS Void Piercer, the tightly-packed conditions of the battlefield meant that neither ship could bring their Perdition Beams to bear on the enemy and they had to rely on their conventional weapons. During this phase of the battle, the battleship SFS Verdun was outflanked and destroyed by Ox'Braxian battlecruisers, although the crew managed one final broadside (pictured above, bottom-right) before the reactor went critical and tore the ship apart.

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In the end, while both sides suffered heavy losses, the Ox'Braxians were forced to retreat, ceding control of the system back to the Federation. Verdun was the only Shambhalan battleship lost in the engagement, although seven cruisers and dozens of support ships were also destroyed. Shambhala itself suffered heavily during the siege, although the damage was eventually repaired and the planet remained committed to its place at the heart of both the Federation and the League.

From this point forward, the 1st fleet remained docked in the Terminal Egress system, ready to intercept any further Ox'Braxian or Lahtrepian fleets attempting to cut through the L-Cluster. The Federation's next commissioned Titan, launched in 2415, was named SFS Spirit of Verdun in honor of the battleship that fought to the death against impossible odds.

(Thanks for reading! This battle was by far the most epic moment of this insane galactic war to date, and I hope the image and writeup did it justice! Mods used in this screenshot are Battle Debris, 10x System Scale, and Dark Skies.)

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