Yorktown (Individual Samarkand-class WarShip)
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The Samarkand-class carrier Yorktown was one of the older Samarkand Block II ships to be constructed and served as a Star League Defense Force WarShip. The Yorktown survived the Hegemony Campaign to liberate Terra from the forces of Stefan Amaris and subsequently followed General Aleksandr Kerensky on the Exodus.
Wars of Reaving
The Yorktown languished in mothballs for centuries until late 3072. By December 3072, the Star Adders had suffered a number of casualties amongst their WarShip fleet as a result of battles during the ongoing Wars of Reaving. With ships lost in combat against Clan Coyote, Clan Snow Raven and most recently a resurgent Clan Burrock the Star Adder leadership decided to activate some of the eight WarShips that formed a part of the Clan's last naval reserve. The naval reserve had been given the designation MKSC-2 and was established in a planetless system; it was in this reserve that the Yorktown had been mothballed centuries before. A salvage party was duly assembled and arrived at MKSC-2 in late December.
The Star Adder convoy discovered shortly after arriving that a group from the Dark Caste had already been working on activating ships from the mothballed fleet, and had already successfully activated a Kimagure-class pursuit cruiser and a Riga-class frigate, both of which were missing from the cache; with the Society providing WarShip assets to Clan Burrock, it was likely that these two ships were the Kimagure-class CBS Admiral Russell Nga and Riga-class CBS Hetherington respectively.
As the Star Adders moved to engage the Dark Caste party, another supposedly mothballed ship from the cache, a Baron-class destroyer, powered up and moved to engage the Star Adder forces. Combined strikes from the York-class CSA Exodus Ranger and the Lola III-class destroyer CSA Cameron's Flame, appeared to easily cripple the Baron, but as the Cameron's Flame transited past the Baron the crew of the Dark Caste ship fired their main aft batteries and inflicted heavy damage on the Cameron's Flame. The Cameron's Flame managed to maneuver slowly to try and finish off the Baron fired her thrusters and caused both ships to accidentally collide. The collision was the final straw for the Cameron's Flame, which suffered a fatal loss of atmosphere, leaving most of the crew dead.
The remaining Star Adder forces faced no other capital vessels in the system and easily destroyed the Dark Caste ships as they attempted to retreat away from the cache to the solitary JumpShip nearby; the Star Adders carefully picked off the smaller craft before destroying the JumpShip. The Star Adders then inspected the remaining cached ships before reactivating the Yorktown; based on the information available, Khan Stanislov N'Buta made the decision that the Star Adders didn't have the time or resources to reactivate the other WarShips and instead chose to destroy them. N'Buta also ordered the remains of the Cameron's Flame to be scuttled, denying the Dark Caste any more resources from the system.
In late 3073 the Star Adders found themselves in increasing need of both the orbital facilities and resources available from the world of Priori - particularly the abundant foodstuffs. Khan Stanislov N'Buta dispatched a force consisting of Gamma, Mu and Sigma Galaxies under the overall command of Star Adder Loremaster Fletcher Daniels to capture the system. N'Buta also dispatched several WarShips as escorts, including the Vincent Mk. 42-class corvette CSA Pegasus, the Fredasa-class corvette CSA Arcadian Asp and the recently-reactivated Yorktown.
When the Adder task force arrived in the Priori system in late November it discovered a sizeable defensive force assembled in the system ready to oppose them; in addition to three vessels missing from the Star Adder naval reserve and now flying under Clan Burrock colors, the former Clan Smoke Jaguar Black Lion-class battlecruiser CSJ Streaking Mist was in the system as well. The Burrock forces waited for the Star Adders to approach before engaging in battle near Priori's second moon, Opal. The senior Star Adder naval officer was Star Admiral Lilith Paik, and opposing her was Burrock Star Admiral Kirc Van Houten; Van Houten began by using Opal to anchor his position and maneuver his smaller fleet into a superior position, targeting the combined firepower of the ships under his command at the Pegasus while throwing his AeroSpace Fighters forward to attack the Star Adder DropShips. Paik responded to this opening by launching three Stars of fighters tasked with attacking the Streaking Mist, forcing the battlecruiser to begin withdrawing; the Streaking Mist attempted to use the Arcadian Asp as cover, the Arcadian Asp having been crippled by damage, but Paik was determined to try and capture the Streaking Mist and dispatched the Yorktown in hot pursuit. The Yorktown launched a number of small craft with marine boarding parties aboard in an attempt to board the Streaking Mist, but the ship managed to reach a safe jump point and promptly jumped, the hyperspace wake leaving a number of the Yorktown's small craft floating as twisted and mangled debris behind the Streaking Mist.
With the Streaking Mist gone the remaining Burrock ships attempted to retreat; Van Houten's gamble with the fighters had inflicted damage on the Star Adder DropShips, with half of Mu Galaxy destroyed along with their transport vessels, but the gamble had left the fighters out of position to cover the Burrock WarShips, who were pressed hard by the Adders until they reached the protective umbrella offered by the orbital shipyard's defenses and the small SDS network based on Priori. While the Adder craft pulled back to long range and sniped at the various batteries, the Burrocks continued to retreat away until they reached a pirate point and jumped, leaving Priori to its fate. The resulting war on the ground would take almost a year to resolve, with the Star Adders finally gaining complete control of the world in October 3074.
A WarShip named the SLS Yorktown is noted as having been the winner of the Best WarShip category of the 2664 Martial Olympiad. It has been confirmed that the Samarkand-class Yorktown detailed in this article was an early Block II Samarkand, not a Block I Samarkand. The Block II Samarkand-class wasn't commissioned until 2668, making it impossible for the Yorktown that won the Martial Olympiad and the Samarkand-class Yorktown described in this article to be the same vessel, despite sharing the same name. The fate of the Yorktown listed as winning the Martial Olympiad is unknown.
|“||No. Yorktown is unlikely to be a Block I Samarkand. TRO 3075 is pretty clear that the only Block Is were Samarkand, Benjamin, Dieron, and Alshain. No more Block Is appear to have been constructed, and all of the Samarkands built when production was restarted were Block IIs.||”|
|— Catalyst Game Labs: Ask The Writers, 27 Mar 2013|
Battle at Priori
The Wars of Reaving indicates that when the Yorktown fought in the Priori system in 3073 Clan Burrock had mustered three vessels taken from the Star Adder naval reserve as a part of their defense, but doesn't name the vessels in question. The Wars of Reaving further indicates that at its height Clan Burrock mustered seven WarShips, and that two of the vessels missing from the Star Adder naval reserve designated MSKC-2 were a Riga-class destroyer and a Kimagure-class pursuit cruiser.
Of the seven vessels within the Burrock WarShip fleet, two were captured vessels from Clan Cloud Cobra, one was a suborned Star Adder WarShip, the Lola III-class CSA Yodan, and the other four ships comprised one Riga, the CBS Hetherington, one Kimagure, the CBS Admiral Russell Nga, and two Mako-class corvettes, the CBS Ingrid Bucharev and the CBS Stone Crab. Of these vessels, the Ingrid Bucharev is noted as having suffered an irrepairable breach of its helium seals in the Tanis system in July 3072, confining it to that system, and the Hetherington is noted as having been destroyed in the Salonika system in late July 3072 in battle with forces from Clan Diamond Shark.
This combination of ships and events makes it likely, but not certain, the that three Burrock vessels faced in the Priori system in 3073 by the Pegasus were the Yodan (renamed the Rebirth by Clan Burrock), the Admiral Russell Nga and the Stone Crab, but this has not been confirmed yet by a canon source.
The destruction of the Yorktown was confirmed by the author of The Wars of Reaving:
|“||Safe to say yes. [In response to the question: Was it one of the unnamed ships destroyed during the Steel Viper Annihilation]||”|
|— Catalyst Game Labs: Ask The Writers, 27 Mar 2013|
- The Wars of Reaving, p. 112-113, "Constriction"
- The Wars of Reaving, p. 89, "WarShips"
- The Wars of Reaving, p. 131, "Punishing Priori"
- Catalyst Game Labs: Ask The Writers, 27 Mar 2013
- The Star League, p. 135, "Martial Olympiad Champions 2640-2736"
- Technical Readout: 3075, p. 218, "Samarkand"
- The Wars of Reaving, p. 93, "Death Rides Forth"
- The Wars of Reaving, p. 102, "Bearding The Shark"