The Battle of Nocto marked the final engagement between the Rebel Alliance and the Empire's Task Force Vengeance. It was the last-ditch attempt of Admiral Wooyou Senn to destroy the Alliance shipyard in the system with the meager remainders of his task force.
It came as a big surprise to the Rebel forces in the Airam sector when the Super Star Destroyer Vengeance, flanked by the Imperial Star Destroyer Rage, dropped out of hyperspace in the Nocto system. Due to a miscalculation on Senn's part (or possible inexact intelligence on the precise location of the facility) both capital ships reverted to realspace well beyond weapons range, which bought the Rebels crucial time to scramble both Rogue and Green Squadrons.
Only minutes after the starfighter launch, the Rage corrected Senn's tactical mishap by performing a microjump, effectively ending up on the opposite side of Calenz and forcing the Rebel starfighter squadrons to split up in order to defend the facility.
Calamari Cruiser Liberty reacted to the distress signal from Calenz and reached the system soon enough to position itself between Senn's Star Dreadnought and the shipyard. However, Rogue and Green Squadrons were effectively tied up by the Imperial fighter defenses, and a few TIE/sa bombers managed to unleash their payload upon the shipyard. The Imperial attackers dealt enough damage that Calenz was seriously damaged or destroyed before the Rebels could rally to fight off the bomber swarms.
Simultaneously, the Super Star Destroyer launched a squadron of Gamma-class ATR-6 assault transports armed with heavy rockets. Senn intended to destroy, once and for all, the Mon Calamari warship that had plagued his sector operations.
Against great odds, Green Squadron, in conjunction with suicide attacks by three allied Airam Dreadnaught-class cruisers, managed to knock out the Super Star Destroyer's bridge deflector shields, at which point the Airam corvette Thunder, loaded to bursting with space bombs, dropped out of hyperspace with the intention of ramming the Vengeance's bridge—a task in which it succeeded, despite taking heavy damage at the hands of the Star Dreadnought's gunners, killing Admiral Senn on the bridge and heavily damaging the vessel. The suicide run left only a small amount of armor to break through for Green Squadron.
Both the Vengeance and the Rage are believed to have been destroyed at the hands of the Rebel forces, but the Alliance shipyard was also lost.
The complete annihilation of Task Force Vengeance's remainders was a significant blow to the Galactic Empire. The Empire had lost at least twenty-five capital ships over the past several weeks, including most or all of their starfighter complements and the reinforcement fleet sent to assist Senn.
The remoteness of the Airam sector meant that the Empire was not likely to send another expedition force of significant size to pacify it, thus ensuring both the independence of the Airam Clans and a safe haven for the Rebel Alliance, where they could regroup and rebuild their strength. However, it is uncertain whether the Rebels maintained their hard-fought stronghold in the Airam sector, as the shipyard Calenz was regarded as mission-critical by Alliance forces during the Battle of Nocto. It is possible that its destruction, along with the heavy damage done to the Liberty and the destruction of four Airam capital ships, forced the Rebels to withdraw and regroup elsewhere, making the Airam campaign largely a wash.
At any rate, the Airam sector is not mentioned beyond the Battle of Nocto as a stronghold for either the Rebel Alliance or the Galactic Empire, nor is the status of the Airam Clans after its bloody events currently known.
Behind the scenes
The actual canon outcome of the Battle of Nocto is disputed, because the two Balance of Power campaigns (for the Empire and the Rebellion, respectively) have alternate endings depending on which side the player is on. One interpretation is to assume that all missions and cutscenes from both campaigns are canonical, and that all mission objectives were achieved (as so to advance the storyline of the campaign on to the next mission, and so on), rendering all engagements' outcomes known with the exception of the Battle of Nocto. In the game itself, it is either the Vengeance or the shipyard which is destroyed by the player's forces, with the other required by mission goals to survive.
Following the standards adopted for handling the rest of the missions, this article assumes that both sides succeeded in destroying their primary targets, which would result in a draw. However, text seen by the player after the Imperial victory includes a formal statement that Rogue Squadron was wholly eradicated, thus clashing with canon. Accounting for the destruction of most of the attacking force and the survival of Rogue Squadron, the outcome of the Battle of Nocto thus appears more akin to a Pyrrhic victory for the Rebel Alliance. Considering the stated importance of the shipyard, it is possible that the battle was a tactical stalemate, but the defeat of Task Force Vengeance by an outgunned Rebel/Airam fleet renders it a strategic triumph for the Rebellion.
- Star Wars: X-Wing vs. TIE Fighter: Balance of Power (First appearance)