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The Tale of the Five Sitting Ducks

M.J.E. Hendriks
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Space Alert
Game Weight: 2.8
Playing Time: 6x35=210min
Players: Jaap, Sietse, Michiel, Richard, Maaike
Location: Richard (Nijmegen)
Date: 31-5-2011

The Tale of the Five Sitting Ducks

Five eager cadets joined forces to board the Sitting Duck and attempt to survive the 10 minutes in space needed to gather enough information in what was later announced to have only been a training mission.

Michiel was appointed Captain and starting player, while Richard was appointed Communications Officer. Little did they know though that it was the other three players who would take leading roles in the missions ahead at the start.

The first mission being but a training mission to jog everyone's mission regarding what exactly was at stake here, we all expected to have an easy time. Or rather, Michiel, the captain did. Everyone else showed a distrust of the others' communication skills and it soon became clear why this was.

The mission had only just started and the 3 cadets without a title/managing position were already running around like headless chickens. This persisted until the third mission, in fact, when we all agreed to some rules, like listening to the captain and first seeing what kind of catastrophes we were facing and where. Yeah, I know, the audacity of a captain asking his crew to listen to him!

Anyway, this first mission was easy, but Jaap figured he might as well try out some of the buttons, and thus recharged the shield for no other apparent reason than simply because he could. This led to the guns on that left (red) side not going off at the right time and in two damage. In training mission number 1! Gosh, this was going to be a long evening...


[Training Mission #1]


2 damage on Red

The second mission was a simulation, and confusion reigned. Maaike ran off to do her own thing and Sietse and Jaap got into a big long discussion, with Maaike and Richard and then Michiel getting involved at some point in time and there was anarchy and chaos galore. This was the game that led us to institute some rules, because there was no use having a title if no one stuck around to listen to what the plan was.

Suffice to say that this was a catastrophe and that there was no way we were going to win this one.


[Simulation Mission #1]

8 damage on Red
1 damage on White
2 damage on Blue

With the organisation sorted out, finally, things went a lot better, and the next mission, a random simulation mission, went well - wow, it was looking like we'd actually figure this thing out!


[Simulation Mission #random]

0 damage on Red
0 damage on White
0 damage on Blue

Points: 24

With that sorted out and a nice win under the belt we moved on to an advanced simulation - these were supposed to be tougher and would get us prepared for the real deal. This is also where the internal threats would come in, and Sietse took on the role of Internal Threat Combatant. He did well, despite the fact that these were the first internal threats for everyone except Sietse himself, who had previous experience with this phenomenon. They certainly added another degree of chaos.

Yes, we did take some damage, and even the captain got confused and started to make mistakes (though luckily for him no one noticed at this point), but the crew escaped by the skin of their teeth with a nice number of scalps to their name.


[Advanced Simulation Mission #1]

3 damage on Red
3 damage on White
6 damage on Blue

Points: 30-18=12

At this point Maaike left us, happy to have survived so far and delighted she had actually done well as she had feared she would have been the weakest link, the downfall of us all, but this had fortunately not proven the case. And so we continued with the four of us, delving into the depths now of the real missions.

A juggernaut attacked us in the center, and truly, we were overwhelmed by it. The captain was left speechless for his entire first phase (also due to a lack of decent cards), and never made up for this failing to actually do something in the beginning. Panic reigned. The shields increased due to other threats, and soon enough we needn't worry about other incoming threats anymore because one side of the ship had been blown to bits.


[Mission #1]

0 damage on Red
11 damage on White
0 damage on Blue

However, instead of giving up, the team regrouped (or the group rethemed, whatever ) and were determined to have another go at a real mission, this time getting ready to let determination and perseverance take the day (what was left of it - we had already breached the next day, in fact).

All went well, and it was actually looking good, though there was an uncertainty regarding whether there had not been a small slip-up somewhere, but no, boomed the captain, "WE'RE ACTUALLY GOING TO GET OUT OF HERE ALIVE!"

Aaaah, vanity vanity, of course, there was the one slip-up, or rather, the two. Sietse, our hero against those infernal internal threats in earlier missions, who had saved us twice before from impending doom, now had mistaken the speed of BOTH of the internal threats, resulting in.... the entire ship being knocked out. Amazingly he did still manage, with a last shot from the bow, to kill the last enemy ship approaching, but boy, was it ever close! And thus we arrived back, the ship nearly destroyed and the crew knock-out. Not the heroes we thought we were, but alive, ALIVE, we're ALIVE! We're back to claim victory. A real mission. VICTORIOUS!


[Mission #2]

4 damage on Red
1 damage on White
5 damage on Blue

4x-2 for crew knocked out

Points: 24-15-8=1

External Threats: Kamikaze, cryoshield fighter, (minor asteroid, marauder)
Internal Threats: Saboteur (Battlebot uprising)

As a final side-note we were not sure whether we got points off for not activating one of the battlebots. The captain's theory was that the battlebot had been activated by the Battlebot uprising and as such, though not activated by us, was still activated in the end and should not result in the loss of a point. Else we would have ended with zero points exactly.

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