With the collapse of Klingon supply into NW Federation space, I had some serious problems to face. Overall, Income was just slightly down over the previous turn, but that was partially from a shift from Lyran and Klingon income to Romulan. The major planet in 2306 generated two EP in a partial grid, and I used one of them to supply six ships in 2708, as I knew I needed them to go a full six hexes.
Survey rolls were very poor this turn, with only the Romulans getting near average (3 on 1d), while the Klingons rolled 3 on 2d and Lyrans got 4 on 3d, for a total of a 3, two 2s, and three 1s across everyone.
Klingon: B10, D7C, D7V, D6M, 5xD5, 2xAD5, MD5, D5S, F5L, 6xF5, 2xF5E, E4R, PDU, D6V->D6U, D6->D6S, B10->B10A
Romulan: CON, FHF, SP, SPB, SPC, SPF, SK, 2xSKE, SEH, WE, SNB, 2xWB->KE, BH->BHF
Lyran: BC, STT, CW, CWE, CWS, STJ, 2xDW, DWE, 2xFF, FCR, FRD, FTM, CP, MB->BS(F), CW->CVM, 2xFF->DW, FFE, CWE
However, the B10 rolls continue to do well, and B10-1 Invulnerable completed this turn, and was immediately fitted with an SFG kit to become a B10A. Paying for the Invulnerable’s fighters caused me to cancel a second Klingon PDU. Well after the fact, it came to my attention that the Romulans can only convert one WE into a KE per turn, so there was some post-turn adjustments to the Romulan fleet.
For raids, the Lyrans sent the DNL after the Kzinti CONV in 1801, but was forced to retreat before it could make a real try at it, while a BC disrupted a Fed province. A Klingon C5 tried to restore supply to the South Fleet, but naturally was only able to eliminate one of the blocking POLs. But both raiding D5s were eliminated by Federation reactions (an F-14 squadron, and a CA that reacted out from 7th Fleet to rescue a blocking FF). A DNL responded to a Romulan raid, and luckly the SP got out intact, while the other two disrupted Federation provinces.
With a fair number of ships out of supply, my offensive options were limited. Hydran space saw the usual after-party cleanup as the Klingons reclaimed all the Hydran planets they’d been booted off of last turn. The Romulans split their attacks, and didn’t hit anything with major force, but concentrated on trying to get deeper into Federation space, more to try and force reserves to move towards them instead of shutting down Klingon operations.
On the Klingon side of Federation space, two main targets emerged. C8V Vindicator struck at BATS 2609, hoping to retreat onto Federation planet 2610 afterward, while other Klingon forces struck at the adjacent defended Federation planet, so that the defense couldn’t concentrate on one. The other was a major attack on the 4th Fleet SB. This happened after the Kzinti Marquis Fleet reacted off of it to an attack on planet 2106.
The Lyrans were overstretched in Kzinti space, but struck at all the major targets outside the capital, including the convoy in 1801.
1701: SSC: Kzinti: dest POL
1704: Kzinti: dest FF
1706: SSC: Federation: dest FF
2705: SSC: Federation: crip FF; planet captured
2804: SSC: Klingon: crip F5
3807: SSC: Federation: dest cripFF
0801: SSC: Kzinti: dest POL
2407: SSC: Federation: dest POL
2109: SSC: Federation: dest POL; both sides retreat
3113: SSC: Federation: dest POL
1801: Kzinti: dest FKE, CONV, crip FF, EFF; Lyran: crip STT, DW, DDG
1802: Kzinti: dest EFF; Lyran: crip DW, planet captured
1001: Retreat after refused approach
2204: Federation: 1xSIDS, dest CA, SC, 3xFF, FFE, SWAC, crip CA, 3xNCL, 2xDD, 4xFF; Klingon: dest D7C, 3xD7, D7A, D6D, D5A, 2xAD5, MD5, F5, crip C8, D7V, 5xD5, D5S, F5
2106: Federation: dest 2xDE, SC, crip 2xNCL, FF; Kzinti: dest MSC, crip MEC, EFF; Klingon: dest D6D, F5L, crip C8, D6, 2xF5L, 5xF5
2006: Klingon: FF captured
2509: Federation: dest PDU; Klingon crip D5
2609: Federation: 2xSIDS, crip 2xNCL, 3xFF; Klingon: dest F5, crip D7C, 2xD5
3509: Federation: crip 3xFF; Romulan: dest SPF, crip KE
3210: Federation: crip 2xFFE; Romulan: crip FH, SP, WE
3206: Federation: dest BATS; Romulan: dest SP, SK, K5
5008: Gorn: dest BATS; Romulan: crip WE
4808: Gorn: dest BATS; Romulan: crip KR, SK, 2xK5
4008: Gorn: crip 4xBD, DD; Romulan: dest SUP, crip 3xSN
As usual, there were a number of small battles scattered about that were weighted in the moving player’s favor, but a couple of out of supply Klingon ships ended up tackling a Federation fighter squadron in 2804, which rolled an 11 in SSC to force a cripple on a ship a long way from home....
The Lyrans had a much tougher force for the convoy fight in 1801, though they made up a lot of damage in fighters and during pursuit. The real annoying thing is the convoy (like several I have scattered around) are part of the opening setup, and really exist to support colony creation, which we’re not using. So I doubt he’ll try this again with a convoy he has to pay for, and this battle only happened because of a SO rule.
I had a pretty good force for the SB battle in 2204, though I forgot to use a CP, while Byron used one, so I was a ship down for the battle. I was originally thinking of just burning one SIDS per round (and did that the first round), but the EW differential was killer, and things were already getting out of hand two rounds later after I’d killed a SC and SWAC, forcing him to abandon EW superiority. I then sent in the stasis ships to try and bag things for cheap (or force him to dial EW up on the SB, which would have been fine), and they worked better than I feared, with the D7A freezing a CA and missing completely, and the D5A getting a FFE on the CVA group for cheap on a Defender Selects. The good news out of all this is the D6M present is fine, and I arranged to leave another one in the area.
The fight for 2106 was another large one, this time with Kzinti supplying about half the forces. If I’d really wanted to take it, I think I could, but it’d have meant crippling the entire fleet, and I want effective forces in the area more than to make supply easier... until he takes everything out as there’s nothing left. In both this and the SB fight, I took out some heavy scouts, which I hope sticks long enough to make everything easier later.
2006 had two purposes: 1) Make sure supply moved through the hex, which was occupied by the FF+CA survivors of a raid. 2) Provide a fight for all the out-of-supply cripples from 2306 to retrograde from, getting them much further than they could move. As luck would have it, I also captured the FF put up to let the CA get away. I may just cash that one in, even if I am losing 5-point F5s too fast.
The twin battles of 2509 and 2609 did not work out as I hoped. I had hoped to either kill the BATS or devastate the planet, but didn’t really have what it took in either place. But I had held part of a reserve in place, which was part of the point. I also had hoped to retreat onto empty planet 2610 and take it. I should have just been less fancy and taken it during movement. Byron retreated onto it, so if I went there, it’d have been a fighting retreat. But, it did keep him from doing a pursuit round he wanted.
Going after BATS 3206 meant going out on a limb, but it drew an extra reserve away from other targets. I had not expected to get get cut off completely, which was accomplished by a Federation retreat from 3210 into 3310. If I’d realized that beforehand, I’d probably have accepted wrecking a force to take one of the two planets in-between.
My worries about having hit my high-water mark are being justified, as I didn't make any real goals this turn, other than perhaps pulling a lot of crippled ships out of Federation space. That said, 2509/2609 is much weaker, having lost one of two PDUs and the BATS being on the verge of crippling. There's a number of ships in range of Earth, though they'd have to go out of supply to get there (but putting them into supply for the beginning of the next turn shouldn't be too hard). Raiding the Federation capital is definitely on the 'to do' list (as part of reducing the Federation economy), so I imagine that area will be getting attention.
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- [+] Dice rolls
After our last big game, Patch suggested we do an SFB game next. After rooting around in the scenarios for our current year (Y160) a little, we decided upon "Border Incident", a scenario originally meant to showcase a miniatures boxed set, and featuring the new Romulan KR ships.
The Romulans created an incident designed to test their new ships in battle—a battle balanced well in their favor. An old "Warbird" ship attacked a Federation outpost and then fled into the Neutral Zone, drawing a Federation CA after it. The new Romulan ships Proconsul and Tribune were waiting in ambush, and the first test of these ships seemed well under control. Unfortunately for the Romulans, it did not go according to plan.
The scenario starts with the CA closing in on the WB+, with a KR and K5R showing up on turn 3. A Gorn CL shows up to help the CA on turn 4. Patch volunteered to take the 'allies' in the scenario, so he wouldn't have to worry about reading the cloaking rules in detail (only the WB+ cloaks, the KRs don't have them for this scenario), but ran into trouble. A 50-point plasma torpedo requires a lot of respect, but I don't think he really comprehended just how limited a sublight ship is even with cloaking reducing damage. The WB has three choices, move one hex on impulse 32, do one impulse tactical move (turn) anytime from Impulse 2 on, or spend no energy, and get one free turn in place on impulse 32. This means where it is is a given, and only facing could be variable. With the WB+ facing away from the CA at start, staying out of arc of the Pl-R on approach is easy.
Studying the situation again now, I'd go speed 21 (the WB+ is 20 hexes away) to get into its hex on impulse 31. Assuming the WB+ goes, and stays, cloaked for this, 6xPh-1 at effective range 5 should do 12 points of damage (after reduction from cloaking effects). The Photons should be half full overload, and half standard (all allowed as prior arming for WS-III; no further overloading is done for flexibility and lack of energy), and then reserve power dumped into the photons to overload them for the point-blank shot. And that's where this plan is iffy, since there's a decent chance that all four will miss (1:16), but with full reserve power put in, there should be 2x16 and 2x12 point shots, and lucky rolls will easily kill the WB+ (average looks to be ~16, for a total of 28, or not enough to get through the armor, more's the pity). No matter what happens (well, other than the WB+ blowing up), on impulse 32 watch the WB+ move first (if it didn't Tac), and move into a hex it's not in. On turn 2, go speed 4 and launch a Wild Weasel while reinforcing the shield facing the WB+. The WB+ probably started decloaking on Impulse 32, and fires (after Tacing to face the CA) on Impulse 5, and the WW moves on 6 before it impacts, so the only damage done will be from the phasers. If the WB+ doesn't launch the R, there's a problem, as you'll still be ~5 hexes away at the end of the turn, and limited to speed 14, with the KRs coming on.
And it's the KRs on turn 3 that keep this from being a walkover. With one more turn, the CA can counter anything the WB+ did to counter all of that, and two-three would allow another pass that can probably punch through whatever's left on the rear shield and do damage that it can't recover from. As it is, it should be noted that with 9 total power, shield damage is probably permanent, as there's not enough to regenerate them with (I'll note here we used the original Basic Set WB+, not the Y1 version with two more impulse power as the scenario was published ages before that came out).
As it was, I went speed 1 to get a little closer to where the KRs would show up, and Patch went speed 20, cautiously approaching from one side and behind. Not liking how things looked, Patch aborted the attack run on Turn 2, boosting speed to 22 and ejecting all four torpedoes to re-arm them as standard/proxes. He held to speed 22 on Turn 3, and I entered at the bottom right with the KR doing 21 and the K5R at 23. Patch basically went straight for the Gorn entry point, while I tried to close the distance. Towards the end of the turn, the CA started turning around, and hit the K5R with one out of two prox photons.
For Turn 4, the CA slowed to 21, with the just-arrived CL going 20, while both of the KRs went 23. The CL turned to parallel the CA for a bit, and then launched a plasma on impulse 8 before both ships turned off. I closed to range 15 on impulse 12, and bolted both plasmas... from the K5R at the CL. I'd been thinking that the K5R was like the Battle Hawk, and had a pair of Pl-G instead of Pl-F, and had even been allocating based on that. They both missed anyway (6s...), and I corrected the announcement later (including the fact that they couldn't have done damage), but if I'd realized at the time, I would have been bolting from the KR instead, as it also hit range 15, but I kept the heavier ship's weapons in reserve. I then turned the opposite way from Patch's ships, and headed for the WB+, which had long since been left behind.
On Turn 5, Patch's ships slowed to 17, while the K5R maintained 23, and the KR pushed up to speed 28. The WB+ dropped power to the cloak... and put it into tractor instead. On Impulse 18, I reached the location of the WB+, which tractored the KR, giving it a pseudo speed of 14 (and the WB+ stayed at one, since it had the only point of impulse power used for movement). For Turn 6, I stayed the same while Patch increased to speed 20 on both ships. Range between our groups was a bit over 30 hexes at this point, and Patch started a big circle with the likely intent to start getting behind the WB+, since even though the KR was keeping it part of the fight, it still only turns one hexside a turn. At the end of the turn, the CA hit 2-for-2 with prox photons at range 16 to do 8 damage to the K5R's #6. I burned 1 battery, since it's cheaper to recharge that than repair the box, and then ended up burning the other battery during Turn 7 EA as I didn't want it to slow down with a weak shield and Patch getting closer, and it was also on final turn of arming the two F-torps.
Everyone maintained speeds for turn 7, and the K5R launched two torps on Impulse 5, and then started turning off to get the weak shields away from him. Patch turned in, and launched a torp from the CL. On Impulse 10, the K5R fired the forward phasers at the CA, hitting with one to do two points to shield #6. After that, both sides widened the gap a bit to run out the plasmas. I was about ready for the WB+ to drop tractor so the KR could come to help the K5R, but it didn't quite come to that. I was at least expecting a few phaser shots at the weak rear shields of the K5R as it ran, but not even that happened.Turn 7, Impulse 7, showing movement from Impulse 1 to 24.
Everyone but the K5R maintained speed for turn 8, with it dropping to 21 as it started shield repairs. Patch's ships had gotten solidly on the left side of the KR by the end of the turn, and on Impulse 2, the CL fired the other plasma torpedo, which I'd expected to see during the main part of the pass (this was the first fire from the 'A' launcher, so it hadn't been loading last turn). With the K5R another 10 hexes away, and still headed away, it was time to clear for action. On impulse 3, The WB+ dropped the tractor beam holding down the KR and launched it's plasma-R torp. The next impulse, it started cloaking in case the G from the CL was headed for it, and the KR fired the boom phasers at the CL, doing 5 points to shield #5 with poor rolls. I ran out the plasma and started turning back towards where I'd left the WB+, the R caught up to Patch's ships a couple impulses later while still strength-20, where massed ph-1 fire with good rolls eliminated it on Impulse 26.Turn 8, Impulse 26, showing movement from Impulse 2 to 28.
For Turn 9, Patch's ships slowed to 16 and the KR dropped to 26 (to recharge phasers) while the K5R stayed at 21. The WB+ re-tractored the KR as it went past on Impulse 9. Patch turned to cross my path on Impulse 18. I was nicely bunched together, but of course the K5R was going faster, so it was doing lots of sideslipping to try and keep from getting too far out. To my surprise, instead of doing an oblique shot, he turned in directly on Impulse 30 at a range of 11 (from CA to K5R). The K5R ended up turning for an oblique shot on Impulse 32, with any plasmas (which would reload on Turn 10) forced to go a hex out of the way, and only the CL was in arc.
The WB+ dropped the tractor in EA, and got ready to fast-load the R as a plasma-F. The KR went 27 with everyone else staying at their previous speed. The K5R launched both Fs on Impulse 1, while the CL launched from his 'B' tube (which could only track the F5R), while the KR and K5R both launched a shuttle. On Impulse 2 the KR launched both of its torpedoes before turning off on Impulse 3, launched a second shuttle on 4, and then transported a TB between itself and Patch's ships on 5.
We'd had a nice clean game to this point, and suddenly it was messy.
On Impulse 6, Patch turned off the opposite way as me, bringing this pass to a close other than the in-flight plasmas. Patch opened fire on the Fs on Impulses 9 and 10, reducing them before hitting on Impulse 11 for 7 and 4 points on shield #6 of the CL. The two Gs from the KR were targeted on different ships (to keep from putting all my eggs in one basket), but moved together until near the very end, when Patch's ships moved indifferent directions, and one had to HET to target the CA. Both hit on Impulse 15 for 11 (after being fired on) on the CL's #4 and 15 on the CA's #5 (reduced by three for reinforcement). With it's cover scattered, and the CA headed somewhat towards it, the WB+ cloaked around this point. Despite the arcs, I had lost track of the fact that Patch's plasma had to be targeted on the K5R (between weeks), but sorted it out, and managed to get it to hit at the one-point bracket, where I found out it was a psuedo. The CA continued circling around the shuttles I'd launched, with the CL following a few hexes behind, and on Impulse 32, the closest one fired on the CA, but missed.Turn 10, Impulse 8, showing movement from Impulse 1 to 16.
Patch's ships stayed at speed 16 for Turn 11, while the KR, having to pay to load torpedoes for the first time, slowed to 25, and the K5R sped back up to 23. With my tubes empty, my plan was to circle around behind my mine and try to work my way back to the WB+ next turn and then line up for another moderate-range shot. The CA turned, presumably to head after the KRs, but his path would take him close to the WB+. After a little hesitation, I decided to uncloak and fire off the R, which would still barely be in arc when I finished. On Impulse 8, I was decloaked and both the WB+ and the CL launched a plasma. The shuttle fired again at this point to do 4 points to shield #4, while the WB fired the near-side phasers at range 4 for 9 points to #6 with good rolls. The CA turned in, and took the plasma on #6 to take 35 internals. This took out three phasers and a photon, as well as all the hull and batteries, which was more than I was expecting, though the 9 extra internals certainly helped some. Patch conceded the game at this point, though we worked out what his pass on the WB+ would be.
The CL retained lock-on when the WB+ recloaked, keeping the plasma torpedo active, which hit and did the full 20, followed by the B tube, which hit for half damage, cracking shield #1 and getting the armor. The CL's phasers did another 5 at point-blank after range and damage adjustments. The CA... had a problem. It turns out the photons were standard load, and with the batteries gone, they couldn't be overloaded for a point-blank shot. The three remaining phasers did 2 each after all the adjustments for another volley of 6. The WB+ was nearly crippled by losing the plasma torpedo and three phasers, making it effectively mission killed until the plasma tube could be repaired in some fashion (two turns just to bring it back as an F-torp, three for G, and five for R).
Even as it was, the CA could manage a range-2 shot (effective 9) into the down front shield, though it might not be worth it. Still one should hit, and that's probably 4 points (or 2, or 8). Or if you assume that Patch spent a point or two of battery before being hit, assuming he'd lose that much, that's two 10-point torpedoes at (effective) range 5. Or he could have just fired them as the WB+ cloaked out for an effective range 5-8 shot anyway, and not even have to worry about further reduction from cloaking effects, but that would have had to be on shield #6 instead of #1.
The scenario uses the Standard Victory Conditions, which gives me 4 VP for being under Patch's BPV (after adjusting the KR and K5R for not having cloaking devices), and then gives Patch 12 VP for me taking one TB on each ship:
Difference 4 0
Options 0 12
WB Damaged 4.5
CA Disengaged 31.25
CL Disengaged 23
Total 58.25 16.5
Decisive Romulan Victory
If he'd had a Wild Weasel available, Patch could have even afforded to use that; take the WB+'s best shot while decelerating, and wait out the plasma. The KRs were far away and empty, so he'd be back up to speed before I could do a lot. But it was obvious that he hadn't gotten around to re-reading those rules; and his life is busy right now, so maybe this wasn't the best time to go into a scenario that really needs a few things we haven't been using. (We've used Gorns a couple times in the past, so I wasn't expecting it to be so bad; though I admit I only got around to brushing up on the rules on the day we started.)
On my end, its been over two decades since I've flown a KR, and I'm not sure I ever did much with the K5R, which was running thinner on power than I expected. I was very thin on power on both the entire time, though the KR was pushing up to 28 (to get 14 while towing the WB+), while the K5R wasn't really going over 23. Both were holding suicide shuttles until that final pass, which freed up some power at the end. Of course, this meant that Patch had the EW edge on me the entire time, so any phaser shots I took were at a +1, but the 3 ECCM on the plasma torpedoes took care of that for me. The last pass was where things felt like they started coming back to me, and I knew what kind of ranges I wanted to use, and was in control of what I was doing.
Patch needed to cut back his EW and push his speeds a little higher, which would get him at around the K5R's speeds, and give him that much more room on the plasmas. He was complaining that the CL was running out of power also, but at 2/3 MC, it should be able to get to speed 24 without trouble as long as it's not busy recharging phasers and the like. And as long as we were trading moderate-range shots, he needed to be picking on one of my ships. It looks like he was trying to pick on the K5R, but when it was running away on Turn 7 he should have been taking phaser shots at the rear shields. There's not a lot there, and a little damage now could add up later, especially since it already needed to nurse the hurt #6.
On the turn 10 pass, there weren't a lot of great options for him, and I assume all the shield damage to the CL is part of what made him go for the 'frustration overrun' on 11. Part of the problem was being down to speed 16. At 20, he would have pulled the plasmas out another couple of hexes, and the Fs were already fading fast. Outrunning the Gs might still not have worked, though he'd certainly have the phasers to knock them down a bit (expended on the Fs). Or, if he'd been holding overloads (which as we know he wasn't), he could have gone in to overrun the WB+ at that point. Even if everything was on the CA, taking the Fs on #6 and the Gs on #1 would be doable, and some phaser fire could even keep the shield (barely) intact. The WB+ was reloading and could only do a quick-load F (which I thought I was about to do), and Patch could probably arrange for a couple turns of close-range shots to reduce it even under cloak. He was too respectful of its (admittedly nice) shields; once through, there's not a lot of internals in there. Another long-term strategy would have been to fire prox photons at it while it was being towed by the KR. As I've noted it doesn't really have the power to repair shields, and after some hits, I'd have to start thinking about if I really wanted to be carrying a well-armed boat anchor with me.
At any rate, despite Patch's frustrations, it was nice to be in a KR again. I haven't been playing as the Klingons much recently, so this is the first time I've been in one of the more nimble cruisers in a while. This was the scenario I most wanted to see out of Y160 (because of the KRs), though I'm hoping for a nice afternoon session of "Coming of the Meteor" at some point, and we'll see on the other scenarios.
- [+] Dice rolls
My efforts to separate out the Federation 4th Fleet SB had finally paid off, with it being its own 5 EP grid, that spent 4.5 on repairs, with further ships needing work. However, Byron was able to call up POLs that restored a connection to that part of the grid, and got most of the Kzinti navy away from the capital back in supply, both of which meant the ships got their fighters replenished.
Federation: CVA, CF, TG, 8xNCL, NCD, LTT, 9xFF, 3xFFE, 4xDD->DE, FF->FFE
Kzinti: CV, TGC, LTT, 3xMEC, 3xFKE, 3xFF, FF->FFK
Gorn: DNT, BC, CM, HD, LTT, TG, 3xBD, BDE, FCR, HD->CM, CL->CV, CL->CLE
Hydran: RN, CU, PGV
Hydran raids of course hit the same back-area Klingon provinces as always, disrupting the area, and crippling one F5, which is a marked improvement. There was only one Kzinti raid, which wiped out a garrisoning E4. The Federation raids similarly went after garrisons, though one was sitting on planet 2610, which was the only one to survive (crippled, and retreated off the planet), while the other two F5s died. Gorn raids both went after Romulan garrisons in Federation space, and for a change the cloaking devices worked, so the Gorns disrupted Romulan control of the provinces, but didn't get the garrisons. (Maybe the Federation needs to share their cloak detectors with the Gorns.)
I was surprised to see a significant Fed force move even further away from the Romulan border, but it turned out that Byron wanted to pin the Klingon South Fleet so it couldn’t intercept his cripples as they headed to the capital (which was six hexes away and had to pass adjacent). This helped insure that the Romulans had sufficient pinning for most everything else that came in, and only one major target was hit (one of the captured Federation planets).
Meanwhile Hydran moves went fairly predictably. He sent forces to pin both reserves in the theater and moved to sweep the Klingons off all the planets in the area. However, I was set up slightly better than two turns ago, and managed at least local parity in a few places as he stretched to get at them all.
Bryon didn't bother with the planets held deeper in the Federation at all, and concentrated on knocking out the Klingon border, and the planet closest to Klingon space, along with the northern NZ planet. At the same time, the Kzinti finally came boiling out of their capital to challenge Lyran control of the west half of their territory, taking out 1001, which I hadn't really been trying to hold, while also going after the fortifications on 1105, which had become under-shipped.
0319: SSC: Mutual retreat
1001: Lyran: FF destroyed; planet captured
0519: SSC: Mutual retreat; planet captured
0718: SSC: Mutual retreat; planet captured
1203: SSC: Lyran: FF destroyed
1805: SSC: Lyran: crip DDG
1804: SSC: Lyran: crip DW
1803: SSC: Lyran: dest cripDDG
2003: SSC: Klingon: dest E4
2106: Klingon: crip D7, D5, F5; Federation: crip FF, capture planet
3707: SSC: Romulan: dest K4; Federation: retreat
3609: SSC: Romulan: crip K4 & retreat
3410: SSC: NE (mutual retreat)
2602: Klingon: dest F5L
2407: Klingon: dest F5; Federation: crip FF
2210: Klingon: capture CL
2608: Klingon: dest F5
0617: Klingon: dest E4; Hyran: capture capital
0517: Klingon: dest F5, crip D6M, D5, 2xF5, F5S; Hydran: dest RN
0518: Klingon: dest MD5; Hydran: dest TR
1202: Lyran: dest DW; Kzinti: dest EFF
1105: Lyran: dest BATS, FRD, DWE, crip 3xDW; Kzinti: dest 3xEFF; capture cripCW, planet
1802: Lyran: dest CW, DWE, crip CW; Kzinti: dest SF, planet captured
1702: Lyran: crip FF; Kzinti: dest POL
1809: Klingon: dest BATS, 1xD5, crip AD5; Federation: dest 2xDE
1910: Klingon: dest cripD5, cripAD5, E4, G2; Federation: dest FF; planet liberated
1707: Klingon: dest BATS, F5L, G2, crip D5S; Kzinti: dest FKE
1807: Klingon: dest BATS, F5J; Lyran: crip STT, DW; Federation: dest CC, NSC
3110: Klingon: crip D6, D5, 2xF5
3611: Romulan: dest SKE; Federation: crip 2xNCL, 2xFF
3610: Romulan: dest cripK4
3711: Romulan: dest KRC, SKE; Gorn: dest 2xHD, crip HD, 2xBD, BDS
3911: Romulan: dest SP, crip SP, SPB, 2xSK, CE; Gorn: crip CL, 3xDD, CL captured
3808: Romulan: crip FHF, SP, dest SEH; Federation: dest NCD, CC; Gorn: crip DD
The Hydran front featured a few SSCs where I had a disadvantage, but Byron didn’t roll better than 1 casualty. Because of working from the small outer battles in, I was able to consolidate into the larger battles, where either things were more even, or I could sacrifice one or two ships out of the combined fleet instead of losing 2-3 per battle.
1805 happened to have supply sources that pulled both forces directly up, turning it into a three-hex running battle, with the Lyrans taking 2 casualties each time, and never able to touch the Kzintis (I couldn’t do more than force a retreat which just continues the problem anyway). Even better, this was accidental instead of a purposeful set-up.
The pile of Klingon cripples from last turn were weathering in 2106, and I withdrew them out of the fight there. I thought that prevented them from being picked off in retreat (as the rules state to put them in the new hex immediately), but actually they do get pursued. As it was, it kept them out of the way, and the Federation pursuit roll failed, saving them.
The Romulans are still having trouble with the cloaking devices, with three out of three attempts to evade combat failing. At least in the last one, Byron rolled a ‘2’ allowing the SNB to escape unharmed.
The one unpinned Klingon reserve didn’t have anything pressing to do, so it went to a pinning battle, where Byron gave up a CL to retreat out a FF. My poor luck on captures finally turned around, and I got the CL. As I consider spending the money on conversion a good deal compared to overbuilding for pin count, I’ll probably keep it, and maybe turn it into an LSC (which would be one less D6S I need).
The Hydran capital area turned into a small problem for Byron, as we had a pinning battle in 0518. If he resolved that before the capital fight, I could retreat into there and have a lot more ships than he did. If he retreated after the capital fight, then I could still retreat into the hex (to avoid the fight in 0517, or because it was just as valid as 0517). And if he did it before the fight in 0517, I could still have a choice to go back into the capital. So he ended up doing 0517 without a proper command ship, which was stuck in the capital, and that reduced the pain on my fighterless fleet a little. Sadly, the D6M shocked, and I really wanted to have an operational 10-point mauler available in the area.
I’d been expecting an assault on 1105 from the beginning, when the Lyrans started fortifying the captured Kzinti planet, and it finally happened this time. Byron apparently expected me to leave after the first round, but even if the available fleet was inadequate, I finally had a chance to hit him from behind my fortifications, though as ever with the Kzinti it was impossible to kill anything other than escorts. I stuck some cripples awaiting their turn at the FRD on the line for the third round, and he promptly captured the CW he directed on to kill. It’s a pity I can’t be everywhere at once; the Kzintis ran through almost all of their spare fighters in the fighting that did happen. I’m happy he didn’t get the LTT that was setting up a PDU (also lost) on the planet (I just don’t have enough transports).
1809/1910 was a trap I didn’t see until too late. I knew that the Federation 3rd Fleet would inevitably retreat over NZ planet 1910, and thought to try to prevent that, only to realize too late that I would also have to retreat there. (I’m generally fine with the retreat rules, but keep feeling like I should just always be able to retreat towards my own capital, especially if I’m already within my own space, as I would in any other game.) I went around in circles with several different plans to get myself out of the hole I’d dug, all of which had their own problems before managing to get out with only a few destroyed ships (instead of wrecking the entire force).
I actually had a somewhat bigger fleet for the base battle in 1807, but didn’t realize that ahead of time, and let him into the base. He probably would have passed approach on the first try (he rolled better), but it would have been another round to wear the Federation down before he directed the BATS.
The Romulan battles all went fairly well. The Gorns can put out big lines more easily than the Lyrans can, which is a problem, and their ability to do field repairs at the normal repair rate means their cripples don't stay that way for long. But while the Romulan carrier force is still getting itself established, almost all of the Federation carriers have passed out of the area, and the Gorns never have very many, allowing the Romulans some better ability to absorb damage.
I knew that Byron would be going after more of the line Klingon BATS on the Fed border this turn, but was hoping to save at least one, and failed. Now the entire chain of supply into my gains into Federation space is extremely fragile (I need to hold on to planets that I failed to this time), and there's no immediately obvious way to restore it. Worse, a chunk of the Kzinti fleet retrograded to the 4th Fleet SB, making that area even more dangerous. The good news is that most of the plan in that area is already accomplished, and it might still be possible to make the supply grid to that SB purely reliant on devastated planets, which can be retaken each turn. The question becomes if that is currently worthwhile. I have a lot of ships semi-permanently out of supply, and I'm not sure that going further down this rabbit hole would pay off....
- [+] Dice rolls
With a one-front war, it's not impossible for the Kzinti to strike back, but there's not a lot to do either, so my teaching game has already finished off my half of turn 1.
The first turn construction schedule for the Kzintis is limited, and after building everything, constructing defenses on the capital, and repairing the cripples, there's still 30 EP in the Kzinti treasury. Sadly, I know that this will not last, and there won't be enough EP to go around soon enough.
Kzinti: CV, CLE, DD, FF, FFE, 4xPDU (Kzintai)
I figured I'd take a stab at BATS 0705, and sent a force to pin his forces on 0504, so only the Reserve would be mobile and in range. But he reacted in the Reserve, meaning that the local forces were still mobile but the Reserve couldn't do anything more. If I'd had more distant options, it might have been important. After sending in the main force to 0705, I moved an extra CV group down there, and Carl moved from 0501 to intercept, but I just sidestepped out of the way to avoid them (if I'd been less mentally lazy, I would have moved out of range in the first place to keep his ships from getting closer to Kzinti space for free).
0705: Lyran: crip CA, CL, DW; Kzinti: dest CLE, crip CC
0504: Retreat after refused approach
At 0705, BIR went high, and I rolled a 1 while Carl got a 6 for 20 vs 34 damage. If it had been more typical, I probably would have had just a crippled ship, and with low damage, hopefully taken it all on fighters. In the event, I decided to retire a CLE early (they'll slowly get replaced with the much better MEC, which I can start producing next turn), and just use a regular CL as an ad hoc escort next turn. In the meantime, the Lyrans took another three cripples on a stack that already had a bunch, and they refused to pursue a largely intact Kzinti force (which was short on fighters, only having the spares from a TTV).
So, we're a turn in, and Carl is hopefully a bit wiser. The real challenge for the Kzinti starts next time, as the Klingons join in, more than doubling the number of ships invading, while the Kzinti have turned their Home Fleet into two reserves to help out on the assault.
- [+] Dice rolls
Back in July, Carl Herzog went on the ADB forums and asked for a teaching game of Federation & Empire. After a little hesitation, I accepted, and also ended up with my Konya wa Hurricane game with Byron Sinor. Since then, the game with Carl has been slowly grinding forward, with lots of rules questions, clarifications, and various delays. The best delay was this:
Carl works with the USS Constitution museum, and was fully occupied for a couple weeks with the work surrounding the finish of her refit and relaunch.
Carl took the Coalition in the standard The Wind scenario, and hopefully we'll at least get to the end of that. After a little bit of confusion on what was allowed, he ended up with a build schedule adapted from one I used the last time I started as the Coalition:
Klingons: D7C, TGA, D6, 8xD5, D5S, F5L, 4xF5, F5V, 3xE4
Lyrans: BC, TGC, 4xCW, 2xDW, DWS, 3xFF, MB, PDU
The Lyrans naturally did the typical thing of lining up on the border, and moving against the three BATS facing them. I had a small force (CVL group + CL & FF) set up on 0803 and, except for one DF, the rest of the Count's Fleet in the reserve. The DF reacted to 0803 as well, while the reserve went to 0703 and the Duke's reserve went to 0701.
The six Lyran Home Fleet ships allowed closer to the border in 0707 did set up there, but ended up not moving, and later used Strategic Movement to stiffen the border. However, much of the Home Fleet was on 0608, and did move in to hit 0803.
0701: Lyran: dest CL, DD, crip CW, FF; Kzinti: crip BC, CL
0703: Lyran: dest CA, FF, crip 2xCL, 2xDD, FF; Kzinti: dest BATS, capture FF
0803: Lyran: dest 2xDD, 2xFF; Kzinti: crip BC
The Lyran force in 0701 was an adequate BATS-busting force (six ships), but when the Duke's Reserve showed up, it was completely outclassed. Carl nearly attempted to fight it out anyway, but took my advice to run while he could after I accepted the first round approach battle, allowing him to keep something.
The best Lyran force was in 0703, and it rolled well enough on the first round to direct-cripple the BATS, and then killed it on the second round. I retreated onto adjacent BATS 0803; most of the Lyran force was crippled, so I could have done a lot of damage if I stuck around, though he'd kept a crippled CA on the line, which I killed with DirDam.
After I retreated onto it, Carl was facing three Kzinti carrier groups and retreated out after the approach battle. He decided not to put non-cripples in his pursued force to prevent further ships from being crippled, but lost all his cripples that way. (I advised for putting more ships in, but he's trying to work out for himself advantages of repairs vs replacements.... It might take another turn or two to sink in, but it is going to be expensive.)
A decent line of ships were held back, and formed the Lyran reserve on 0404, while new construction used free Strategic Movement to go directly to the line of BATS.
Overall, killing a single BATS is not bad for the initial Lyran turn; they just don't have enough, close enough, to get through Kzinti defenses on the first turn. Carl is being nicely aggressive, and if he can keep that, he probably has a good shot at doing a lot of damage next turn when the Klingons come in. (I'll admit I have trouble swallowing the damage necessary for a strongly-defended SB.) Watching everything he's going through is a reminder of just how much is going on in F&E. I at least had the advantage of some solo work (ages ago) to figure out a lot of basics before I started on my Vassal gaming career.
- [+] Dice rolls
It took a couple days to entirely regain my equilibrium after the Alliance counterstrike on turn 11. But overall, the damage was limited, if still a problem. The Klingon economy suffered, thanks to the loss of a major planet, but the Romulan economy is still expanding, largely thanks to exploring their back area, though income has started coming in from captured Federation territory; overall the Coalition economy was 431.2, slightly higher than the turn 10 total, and 8.1 EP better than turn 11. We'll see if I get to hang on to much (such as Hydran planets) to do even better next time.
Lyran survey rolls were horrible (3 on 3d6), while Klingon rolls were slightly below average. This was made up for by good B10 rolls, and it probable (2/3rds chance) that B10-1 will finish next turn.
Klingon: C8V, D6M, TGA, 3xD5, 4xAD5, MD5, D5S, F5L, 5xF5, 2xF5E, F5J, E4R, PDU, D6->D6S, D6->D6D, BS(f)->BTS(F), 2xVP2->2xVP3
Romulan: SUB, FHF, 2xSP, SPC, SPF, SK, 2xSKE, SEH, WE, SNB, PDU (4112), 3xWE->KE, BH->BHF
Lyran: DN, TGC, CVP, CWE, CWS, STJ, DW, 2xDWE, 2xFF, FCR, MB, 2xFF->DW, DDE->CWE
I had planned on not converting up the last pair of VP2 pods, but my forces on 2106 had been left out of supply, and with no fighters on several carriers. Part of the solution was to reestablish supply there and then swap out carrier pods on a couple of available tugs (thanks to the flexible tugs rules; under older versions of the game I couldn't do this slight of hand). Since TAVs were going to be my main carriers, I wanted it to be a full squadron. The new TGA got the 'empty' set as they went into a reserve (at which point fighters had been supplied to it). The Romulans built a PDU to stiffen the defense of the planet near the corner of Gorn and Federation space, while the Klingons built one to start rebuilding their major planet in 1611.
Raids went poorly. The Lyrans raided the Kzinti home province... only for the DNL to be driven off by the called up POL. The other Lyran raid, on a Federation FF blocking supply to 2106, drew a Kzinti DN reaction, which slaughtered the CF. The Klingons did successfully take out the FFE holding 1611 with a raiding D5, liberating it before movement. The C6 successfully disrupted a province, but another raiding D5 was driven off. The Romulans made one cloaked evasion roll to disrupt the province, while the other two raiders were driven off, though at least one of them crippled an NCL in the process.
I was planning on a more or less 'general' offensive, as a last hurrah before the Gorns join in, but decided to keep things calm in Hydran space from a distinct lack of maulers to take out decent-sized ships. A spare LTT picked up the new PDU in the Klingon capital. If he goes after that... well, he's not going somewhere else.
The main goals were to try for the 6th Fleet (Romulan border) SB, and to cut off the 4th Fleet SB. Lyran forces mostly blocked Kzinti reserves from going to help the last Federation BATS on the Kzinti border (which is barely in supply/Strat Move range of the Barony), and helped show the flag against the Kzinti force left near the Federation border. Several moves and counter moves got me decent fights at much of NW Fed space, but I was worried about the Romulan side. Three out of four Federation reserves were in range of the SB, and the Romulans could only get at one. Of course, anything that went there would give the Klingons an easier time, and I was definitely giving Byron some decisions to make.
At the last minute, I saw a possibility. I was planning on taking on a pile of cripples + LAV at planet 2509, but he had ships that could react to that, so it was unlikely to draw a reserve (or to be taken without one). I realized the Klingon South Fleet could reach the BATS in 3209... which was undefended, and was directly between two reserves and the SB. He could still get a good number of ships to the SB and make sure it was save to continue being a big problem to me... but it would leave the Klingons nearly free to loot northern Fed space.
And, he ended up not reinforcing the SB at all. The reserve near the Romulans wasn't quite pinned, and a CVA group headed out to planet 3210, while the other three all headed to face the Klingons. In a surprise, one of the Kzinti reserves went to 'open up supply' to the fight against the wandering Kzinti fleet (supply to the hex he went to would be lost once the Lyrans took planet 1802 from a single defending POL), giving me more ships in the area to worry about.
1802: Kzinti: dest POL; Lyran capture planet
1801: Kzinti: dest POL
1701: Kzinti: crip CLE, FFK, FKE; Lyran: crip CW, DW, HDD, SC
2201: Federation: dest BATS; Klingon: crip F5
1906: Kzinti: crip 3xDD; Klingon: dest D6D
1705: Klingon: dest F5
2606: Federation: crip NCL; Klingon: crip D6, D5G, F5L
2505: Federation: dest FF, 2xPDU, crip 3xNCL; Klingon: dest F5L, crip D7, D6, 2xD5, F5L, F5, capture planet
2705: Federation: dest 2xPDU; Klingon: capture planet and retreat off of it
2603: Federation: dest BATS, cripCFF; Klingon: crip F5
3013: SSC: Federation retreats
2609: Federation: dest FF; Klingon: dest F5S
3508: Federation: dest BATS
3209: Federation: dest BATS
3611: Federation: dest DN, CA, SC, crip CA, CMC, 4xDE, 12xFF, FFE; Romulan: dest SP, K7R, 2xK5L, 2xK5, 2xK4, KE, 3xWE, SN, crip NH, 7xSP, SPF, SK, SKB, 2xSKE, SKF, KRC, 2xKR, KRM, 2xK5, K5S, 3xKE, 3xWE, CE, SE, 2xBHE
3509: Retreat after declined approach
3210: Federation: dest 2xPDU, 2xSWAC, crip ECL; Romulan: crip 2xWE, 2xWH, 2xBHE, SN, capture planet and retreat off of it
2107: SSC: Federation: dest POL
2201 was the last of the Federation border BATS near Kzinti space. I had hoped to kill it previous to this point, but got diverted by the attempt on the 4th Fleet SB last turn. Now there are no bases within six hexes of the Barony, and financial aid has to go off map (or 1802 will have to be held for a turn).
I had a fairly minimal base-busting force to take 2606 (all I could afford), so I was at a severe disadvantage when a full reserve showed up there, but we both retreated off after the first round as part of trying to maneuver to keep/deny supply.
The SB fight in 3611 went rounds, and started well enough with a 6-1 die roll split on the first round, which I used to kill the only Federation scout present. Most of the rest of the battle, Byron had to dial the SB's EW up to 2 just to avoid an EW shift. We both had admirals, but he used a command point, which I forgot about, so I fought one ship down, which certainly did not help. I eventually killed the DN (the only CR10 ship present), which evened that out, but ended up waiting a while to do it (should have put a mauler on the line early, instead of trying to wait out his good chances of killing it). Mauling the CA before I'd gotten rid of the DN was certainly a mistake (made worse when the SPF shocked), but I didn't expect the fight to drag on so long at that point. The second and fourth rounds had good Federation rolls against poor Romulan ones, round four being at BIR 10, and the Federation missed getting 50% only because of the EW shift. Both fleets are thoroughly wrecked, with the Federation 6th Fleet, naturally, in better shape, but not an offensive force by itself anymore. Most likely, the Romulans will have no real ability to mess around in Federation space on Turn 13....
And the fight for planet 3210 wrecked another fleet. It was a small Romulan force vs a partial CVA group that reserved over, plus a BATS squadron that reacted into the hex, for nearly equal compot. I killed the first SWAC on the first round to get rid of his EW advantage (missed killing a PDU by one), and the second at the end when the PDUs were gone. Since the BATS was dead, he lost that squadron after the first round as well. In fact, most of his ComPot was fighters, which allowed me to slowly sandpaper the Federation down while taking cripples over four rounds. He'd probably have done better to push the BIR high while he still had good ComPot, but I suppose he was worried about what might happen to the CVA.
Both the Klingon and Romulan navies have been roughly handled at the moment, the Romulans worse than the Klingons (though they have a local problem of a lot of cripples in and near north Federation space). This could be the high-water mark for the Coalition, or close to it, if the Federation and Kzinti can get a real counter-offensive going, and the Gorns can keep the Romulans busy. More likely, I will be able to push further into Federation space next turn, but I'm not going to take out four BATS and three planets again (they're getting rarer for one thing).
- [+] Dice rolls
Thanks to taking out a number of Federation planets on my turn, the overall Alliance economy was down 30 EP. 17 points of the Kzinti budget were stuck in the Barony (the Federation had been forced to deliver them there instead of to the capital last turn), which were used for repairs and building a FKE. The Kzinti subbed two FFs for a CL, but had to cancel their BC. The Federation built their full schedule, started upgrading a MB to BATS at Earth, and converted some ships to escorts, but built no new carriers.
Federation: DN+, 2xCA, 11xNCL, LTT, 12xFF, MB->BATS(F), 2xDD->DE, 2xFF->FFE
Kzinti: CV, LTT, 2xMEC, FFK, FKE, 6xFF
Hydran: KN, HN, 2xHR->NEC
The Hydrans raided two province garrisons this turn, forcing a crippled F5L to retreat, and killing an E4, eliminating Long-Term Capture in another province. The last E4 that began as a garrison in the area has to be getting nervous.... The Kzinti re-raided province 0701, killing a FF, and crippling a DW, while the other DNL picked off an E4 in 2101, also disrupting two NZ hexes. A Fed DNL hit an F5 (with a second reacting in), which retreated intact, the other DNL forced a SN and K4 to retreat, and the CF picked off a SN. In no case were Coalition ships able to even make a raider retreat (the use of DNLs, often with PTs, is just murder, even on the larger garrison ships).
Movement started with the bulk of the Kzinti navy moving out not only to re-take 1802, but hitting Klingon task forces at the edge of Federation space in 2003 and 2005. Most things couldn't react, but the Lyran garrison on 1502 blocked a little of it. Further moves in Federation space showed that there was a broad advance against Klingon positions underway. I had expected him to toss me off both planets in the 4th Fleet zone, but he only hit one, with most of the 4th Fleet moving to hit 1807 with the combined Klingon BATS + Lyran MB. The 3rd Fleet moved to hit NZ planet 1910, with further ships hitting the two BATS nearby and a good force to major planet 1611.
On the Romulan side, the 2nd and 5th Fleets moved to take back 3706, but nothing else happened other than moving some cripples back towards the capital, and repositioning some POLs. Hydran space saw no Operational activity whatsoever.
As can be expected, all this struck into the areas without great reserve coverage, though a Lyran reserve was pinned in 1807, and a Klingon one in 1910. The only ones available to respond were a Lyran reserve, which went to aid the pinning fight in 1601, and a Klingon reserve, which went to aid the defense of 1910.
1809: Retreat after refused approach.
1810: SSC: Federation: crip FF
1811: Klingon: dest BATS; Federation: crip FF
2111: SSC: Klingon: dest F5L
2209: SSC: Klingon: dest E4
2408: Klingon: dest F5; Federation: crip FF
2007: SSC: Klingon: dest F5
1802: Klingon: dest E4
1502: Kzinti: dest FF
2409: Klingon: dest F5; Federation: crip FF
1611: Klingon: dest MON, 4xPDU; Federation: dest DE, capture planet
2210: SSC: Klingon retreat
1910: Klingon: dest D5, F5L, 3xF5, FRD, crip D5, MD5, 2xF5; Federation: dest CC, SC, crip FF, planet captured
2106: Klingon: dest F5, F5J, E4A, crip F5, F5G, E4R; Federation: dest EFF, crip NCT, DD, 2xDE, CFF
2003: Klingon: crip D5, F5; Kzinti: crip MEC, CLE
2005: Klingon: crip D5, 2xF5; Kzinti: dest FKE
1807: Lyran: dest MB; Federation: dest NCL
1601: Lyran: crip 2xCW, 2xDW; Kzinti: dest SDF, crip SDF
3706: Romulan: dest FAL, SKE, 2xSNB, K4, crip 2xK7R, SP, SK; Federation: dest CC, LSC, crip CA, CF, 6xFF
BATS 1809 had reacted out its fighters to pin a FF in 1810, so even though he only had three ships, the 9 fighter factors he had suggested to me that he'd try to at least damage the station, but instead he retreated out and into the big battle for 1910. Meanwhile, the fighter squadron managed to cripple, but couldn't quite kill the FF. The other border BATS in 1811 faced a similar force, but with 2xFF instead of 1xCL, and this time he went in to take it out, and good rolls (4-1 and 6-1) let him take it for minimal damage.
Three good carriers was way more than a major planet's defenses could take, though a 1-3 split at least allowed me take out a DE, and a FFE stayed behind as a garrison in retrograde, meaning there's a CVS without escorts for the moment.
Byron tied one of the garrison F5s up with a fighter squadron strike from the 3rd Fleet SB, and after I reacted other ships in, supported the fighters with a LAV. With both sides near the top end of SSC totals, neither side hurt the other, and I retreated out, since I'd have to chew through the fighter squadrons before getting to do any real damage.
My main hope was to hold onto the forward base of NZ planet 1910, but even with two reserves present, I just couldn't match the force Byron put into the hex (aided by a two-ship differential in the lines thanks to having an ADM, and me not having better than a D7C). The second round went decently, but I just couldn't match the damage he was doing.
On the other hand, we were very evenly matched over 2106, and the first couple rounds were pretty even damage at low BIR, despite the Klingons being at a EW disadvantage again, but by round three, the Federation force was out of fighters, and was out-rolled. In 2005, the forces were nearly even, except for the Kzinti CV groups backed by carrier tug refills. A lucky roll got nearly even damage on each side, and I retreated. Byron failed pursuit, but considering my decent line, I think he would have paid for killing a couple F5s. Unfortunately, the battles in this region left my forward forces out of supply, and if I'd paid greater attention, I could have avoided that.
With the main portion of the 4th Fleet in 1807, I expected Byron to take out both the Klingon BATS and the Lyran MB in the hex. I didn't hide the MB so I'd get some aid from both bases at once, and the Federation just blew the MB and retreated instead of taking the BATS as well.
The Federation arrived at 3706 with a lot more than the Romulans had, but no fighters, and the first round saw a small ComPot advantage from larger ships that quickly faded as high BIR burned through both sides.
The VPs still aren't very meaningful at this point, but did shift in my favor over the last turn:
Coalition: 423.1 EP (x2) + 599 (bases) + 829 ships (/5) + 100 (Hydran Capital)=1876.8
Alliance: 232 EP (x2) + 370 (bases) + 525 ships (/5)=1044.0
This is still a "Decisive Victory", but still does not count the Gorns, who come in next turn. Also, I don't regard the 100 points for the Hydran capital at all stable at this point. The Alliance economy really fell off this turn (purely from Federation losses), and the Federation lost four BATS. While all three Alliance Empires gained ships (+14 Federation, +10 Kzinti, +2 Hydran), so did the Coalition to a lesser extent (+3 Klingon, +7 Romulan, +11 Lyran), which is surprising at the rate they're losing ships.
- [+] Dice rolls
Overall, the Coalition economy took a hit from the loss of all the captured planets in Hydran space and some captured provinces, but the fact that the Romulans are still exploring their own space allowed them to pick up nearly 10 EP (including captured NZ hexes) to make up for the bulk of that.
After doing all the repairs I could, the Klingons were slightly short of their goals and had to upgrade a MB to a BS with one fighter module instead of a BTS with the normal two. (Which isn't entirely bad—taking the extra step costs a turn, but is still the same number of EPs, so if he can kill it this time, I'm out less money, and if he kills it next time, he still encounters a partially upgraded base. I hope he doesn't kill it at all, of course....)
The Klingons have started work on their third B10 (I think I'm unlikely to start the fourth, but we'll see how the budget looks in two years), and while B10-2 is delayed ('1'), B10-1 got a '6' to put it in line for completion in two to three turns (it's at 32/40; I just need to average '4' to get it in two turns, and as long as I get at least a '2' next time, it will be possible to get it in two turns. ...Or it could drag itself out for eight turns, at which point I definitely won't be starting B10-4....)
Klingons: D7C, D7V, D6M, 4xD5, D5U, 2xAD5, MD5, D5S, F5L, 6xF5, 2xF5E, E4R, MB->BS(f), D6->D6S, D6->D6D, D6->D6J
Romulans: CON, FH, SP, SPB, SPC, SPF, SK, 2xSKE, SH, WE, SNB, WE->KE, BH->BHF
Lyrans: BC, STT, CW, LTT, STJ, CWE, DWV, 2xDWE, 2xFF, FCR, PDU, BS(F)->BATS(F), CW->CVL, 2xFF->DW
My raids were largely a repeat of the previous turn's: One Lyran raid to disrupt the Kzinti capital province, and one into NW Federation space, while all the Klingon and Romulan raids went deep into Federation space. The crippled D5 from last turn was replaced with a C5 and the Romulans filled their last raid slot with another SP. Both Lyran raids worked, but the Klingons and Romulans only succeeded with one raid each, and another D5 was crippled, though three different Federation fighter squadrons were destroyed.
With the collapse of the Hydran front, my activities there were confined to re-occupying the home system and neighboring planets to re-establish the supply grid, moving cripples out of the theater, and securing all possible on-board provinces. Kzinti space was somewhat more active, with the main Lyran fleet moving over to take out planet 1802, the last Kzinti base outside the capital, and substantial portions of Klingon forces shifting to take out a Federation BATS and planet 2106.
My main goal in that area was actually to hit as many of the planets near and behind the 4th Fleet SB as I could (presumably four of them), and BATS 2603, which lost its fighters in a raid. However, he reacted out a few ships to 2106, and a noticeable number to 2306, so instead I turned everything I had left in range to the SB to try and take it out. Meanwhile, the Romulans continued rolling up the border stations along the border, and sent a force to take the minor planet near the 5th Fleet SB, small forces to two locations past the 6th Fleet SB, and the bulk of the Home Fleet to the major in 3509.
I expected to see one of the western Fed reserves go to a planet fight (probably 2306), and the other to either go to the SB or to 2106. Instead, one went to 2306, while the other went to unpin the reserve in 3209. I had expected the 3008 reserve to do that, and 3209 to go to 3706 or 3509. Instead, both eastern reserves went to 3509.
0418: SSC: Hydran: dest POL
1802: Kzinti: dest 2xPDU; Lyran: dest BC, crip DW
1702: Klingon: dest F5
2103: Federation: dest BATS; Klingon: crip F5
2306: Federation: dest 2xCA, FF, MON, 3xPDU, capture F5J; Klingon: dest D7A, D6M, planet captured
2106: Federation: dest CA, FFS, 2xPDU, crip CFF; Klingon: crip F5E, planet captured
2204: Federation: crip NCL; Klingon: dest D6D
2105: Federation: dest FF, crip FF
2610: Federation: dest 2xPDU; Klingon: crip F5G, capture planet, then retreat to let it go again
2511: SSC: both sides retreat
3210: Retreat after refused approach
3612: Federation: dest 2xPDU; Romulan: crip WE, SK, capture planet
3810: Federation: dest BATS; Romulan: crip SEH
3209: Federation: crip NCD, 2xDD, 2xFF, capture WE; Romulan: dest SN, crip WE, 3xBH
3808: Federation: dest BATS; Romulan: crip KR
3509: Federation: dest 2xPDU; Romulan: dest FAL, crip F5L
3806: Federation: dest BATS; Romulan: crip SK
3706: Federation: dest MON, 2xPDU; Romulan: crip SP, capture planet
The Kzintis directed on a BC at 1802, and Byron was happy to trade fighters for a BC. I was happy to trade a BC for a defended planet. After the first round, the Kzinti left, and did a fighting retreat over what would have been a small SSC and killed a F5.
I had two D7As available at 2306, and would have used both if there had been an approach battle. As it was, he killed it and a F5J (which was a hard lesson on just how bad the damage rules on penal ships are), and thankfully, when he rolled a successful capture attempt, got the F5J. He burned the F5J for a die roll bonus on the second round, and then retreated behind the MON and one PDU left on the planet before round three (though he didn't have any cripples either).
With the reserve going to the 4th Fleet SB, I didn't have what it took to really threaten it (especially since I didn't really have specialty ships past three medium and two light carriers), and he had an ADM and I didn't (he was busy in 2306), and then he spent a command point. Rather than try to slog through to cause some damage over a few rounds, I took a round of 11 ships to 13 once and left. I did a Fighting Retreat over the force that had retreated from 2106, and killed a FF and crippled another in return for fighters. Overall, we each lost three cruisers in those four fights, except that mine were more valuable, and the Federation also lost two extra FFs, a MON, and 5 PDUs.
I thought I'd have a decent fight at 3209, but was sadly mistaken. Part of the problem is the continuing trouble with Alliance EW superiority, and the Roms are nowhere near combating that, so a -2 shift with a small-ship heavy line caused a nearly 2:1 difference in damage. Another good capture roll got Byron a WE, which is in an odd space at the moment. The KE seems to be on its way to being its own hull (the KEV lists its hull type as KE, but the KE says WE), which means a captured WE can't be upgraded to it (which makes sense, with how thorough the conversion is), and the 'Queen Eagle' variants aren't in the game yet. Byron will be turning it in for scrap, though I'd probably keep it as an extra hull myself.
I put more than enough on 3509 that I figured I could take a major planet with a MON and about half a dozen FFs parked there, and a reserve. I had not expected two reserves to show up, and the fleet wasn't able to take it. So I traded a FAL for a couple PDUs (couldn't do enough to kill a third), and then retreated out, taking minimal damage, and left the Federation with a number of unresolved involuntary minus points.
My goals were a bit better focused this turn, and the results show it. The two big disappointments were not doing any damage to the 4th Fleet SB and not taking 3509. However, I had expected two reserves to to go to the two planet fights in the Western Fed (making those fights iffy at best), and one to 3509, which I'd take with some damage, and have something of a bloody fight over the SB. Instead, most of the damaging fights were avoided, and I'm happy with having (temporarily) taken five Federation planets this turn.
- [+] Dice rolls
Given how much trouble I ran into with my (unfocused) offensives, I faced the Alliance half of the turn with a fair amount of trepidation. The good news is any fighting would be away from his defenses, but there's still a fair number of places I wanted to protect, and I was well aware I couldn't cover them all.
The strain on the Alliance economies showed with the Federation cancelling their ECL and two DE builds, even as they converted two DDs to DEs, and three CLs to other duties. Sure, they're inefficient to build, but they'll run out someday. ...Or so I tell myself. Meanwhile, the Kzinti did minimal repairs, and downgraded two CMs to FFs, though they did build a full number of hulls. They could have repaired slightly more, but both of us forgot about the two ships they captured (and salvaged) at first.
Federation: CVA, CF, TG, 8xNCL, NCD, LTT, 12xFF, 2xCL->LSC, CL->CLD, 2xDD->DE
Kzintis: CV, TGC, LTT, MEC, FKE, 7xFF, FFK->FKE
Hydrans: RN, CU, Shipyard (60/90)
Overall, raids went very well for the Alliance. He hit several LTC province garrisons, allowing me to call up a POL to fight him two on one, but the quality of his raiders and rolls made up for it. The Hydrans raided with a RN and THR, while the Kzinti used their two DNLs, and the Federation used a DNL, CF, and a newly-built CF. I forced a couple of retreats, but did no damage to the raiders, lost three small ships, and the Lyrans had three LTC provinces disrupted.
Hydran movement started with a large force apparently heading around the capital hex, and I reacted out to generate a fairly large pinning battle in 0518. However, the Lyrans were unable to take part in any of this (all movement was away from them), and with all the fighters, the Klingons couldn't even begin to match Hydran SEs or firepower, and the Hydran fleet ended up running over everything, and hitting every notable point in (former) Hydran space, including where a TGB had started setting up a MB in 1017. I had contemplated setting up a reserve in Klingon space that could reach that, or a very few targets in Federation space. But I hadn't liked the opportunity cost of the reserve potentially being stranded far away from the action.
Meanwhile, the Kzintis sent the Marquis' Fleet into the Fed-Kzinti neutral zone to pick on a small Klingon force there, and were joined by an even larger Federation force. I avoided reacting anything into the area, and did not react to a decent-sized force that picked on a province-raiding E4 in 2206 as I was afraid of moving away various picket forces from where they could interfere with any attempt on Klingon bases and captured planets. And the 3rd Fleet came out for a fight against the Klingon East Fleet in 2212.
On the Romulan border, the only activity was a couple ships sent out to pick on a pair of F5s that survived the raids intact, a pair of POL picking on a K4, and the remnants of the 5th Fleet shifting from the Gorn border to nearer the Fed capital.
Many reserves were out of range of all combats, and one was pinned in the Hydran capital. Of those that were left, one Klingon reserve aided the East Fleet, while another two and a weak Lyran reserve went to 2206 to put a decent force into NW Federation space.
3116: SSC: Romulan: dest K4
0418: SSC: Klingon: dest cripF5
0718: SSC: Klingon: dest cripF5, FRD; Hydran recover planet
1017: Klingon: dest E4, abandon setting up MB
0519: Klingon: crip F5L; Hydran recover planet
0617: Hydrax I: dest PDU; Hydrax II: dest PDU; Klingon: dest E4, crip D7, D6, 2xD5, 2xF5, E4; Hydran: dest LB, DDS
0518: Klingon: crip F5; Hydran: dest PGS
1905: Klingon: dest F5L
2212: Klingon: dest D6D; Federation: dest FFE
2206: Klingon: crip D5; Lyran: crip DW; Federation: dest DD
The last turn me and Bel got to in our main game, Bel blew several cloaked evasion rolls, and followed it up with poor SSC rolls. The shoe was on the other foot this time as I blew my only cloaked evasion roll of the turn in 3116, and then did poorly in SSC to lose a K4 without even forcing a pair of POLs to retreat.
Byron's raids left a pair of F5s crippled in 0418, and then he sent a pair of crippled HR plus a POL to finish them off. One covered the escape of the other, but it is now 0419, well away from the last friendly house.
I had established the repair pool with the FRD on the major planet in 0718, figuring I could probably pin out most attempts to get past the major base in the capital. This is supposed to be a backwater....
Byron seems to have thought I was going to attempt to stand up to a major combined Fed/Kzinti force in 1905, but I just withdrew the LV3 (LTT+VP3) group and then sacrificed a F5L to get a D7C and F5S out.
Everyone largely retrograded back to their start positions; the Hydrans ensconced themselves on 0416 without even attempting to leave any garrisons on their reclaimed systems (despite my problems, they don't really have the ability to protect two places at once), the Federation 7th Fleet ended up back in 2609, on the direct path to the capital. However, the Marquis' Fleet went to the Kzinti capital, leaving no garrison in place for 1802.
The Federation naturally transferred 15 EPs to the Kzinti, but thanks to Coalition forces in the area, it had to be delivered to the off-map area, where it will probably maximize repairs next turn. Both Kzinti reserves are in the capital, and Federation reserves are all centrally located within three hexes of their capital.
Looking ahead, it's pretty obvious the VP setup isn't really meant for this early in the scenario:
Coalition: 429.8 EP (x2) + 600 (bases) + 808 ships (/5)=1782.8
Alliance: 262.6 EP (x2) + 390 (bases) + 499 ships (/5)=1114.8
This is considered a Decisive Victory, which the Coalition is actually some ways from achieving, and it does not count the Gorns, who come in on turn 12, and right now the Coalition is expending ships trying reign in the Alliance economy and base infrastructure. I did do that, but the cost in ships was a bit high, and most of the easy targets are gone. At least the Romulan economy is still expanding thanks to needing to explore part of their own space.
- [+] Dice rolls
I've been meaning to get some more PBeM gaming in this year, and at the time I happened to be in a real F&E mood, a new player asked for a teaching game on the ADB forums. I accepted.
As usual when I do something like this, I ended up with two games. The second one with a fairly experienced player. I had been wanting to try out the revised Hurricane scenario, which starts the action as the Romulans invade the Federation in support of the Klingons who invaded three turns earlier. In addition to getting the Romulans into the action early, it also gets us to the introduction of later carrier types and some new mid-war ship types that I haven't seen in action.
So, despite saying 'turn 10' in the title, this is the start of the game. With the title of the scenario being "The Hurricane", calling this game "Konya wa Hurricane" (There's a Hurricane Tonight) seemed obvious. But for those who need the reference:
I'm playing the Coalition, and Byron Sinor is playing the Alliance, and we're using what I consider the 'main three' expansions, Fighter Operations, Combined Operations, and Advanced Operations (short of the optional rules), which is about what I think I can remember in terms of new rules. We also adjusted the OoB slightly to account for older ships that show up in Gale Force (which was revised last year, and starts after this scenario):
Lyran: Sector A: 1xFF->HFF; Sector B: 1xDW->HDD
Also, we're testing out a bunch of new Auxilaries that have been added to the on-line SITs but have yet to be published. At least in theory; we'll see if either of us does much with them. Guidelines:
1) Auxes generally use the FO2016 unified rule.
2) All Aux production (and conversion) takes 'pods' as well as EPs. Federation & Klingons get 8/year, Tholians get 4/year, everyone else gets 6/year.
3) The existing limits for particular types of Auxes still limits them. (Probably just count the jumbo and heavy auxes as part of the large limit.)
4) Auxiliary combatants are not tied to provinces as in CL43 playtest rule, but they don't exist for activation either. Only built Auxes are available.
As a large scenario, setup is actually complicated, as certain 'strategic reserves' are set up after most everything else, and can be shifted between fronts, while most forces are assigned to a particular region. I started ignoring my own plans there, not concentrating them in a few places as I had meant to as I worried about various problems. Production was certainly nice, as the Coalition has the luxury of occupying most of Hydran and Kzinti space to swell their economies.
Klingons: C8, D7, TGA, 5xD5, D5V, 3xAD5, F5L, 6xF5, 2xF5E, E4, D6Y->D6U, D5->AD5, D7->D7A, 2xVP2->2xVP3
Romulans: NH, FH, 2xSP, SPB, SPC, SKB, 2xSKE, SEH, WE, SNB, JAC, WE->KE
Lyrans: STL, TGC, CW, LTT, CVL, CWE, 2xDW, DWE, 2xFF, FCR, MB, PDU, MB->BS(F), CA->STT, 2xFF->DW
The Lyrans raided the Kzinti capital province (most everything else was likely to be disrupted anyway), while the remaining six hit Fed space (the Romulans only put two ships into the Raid Pool this turn). Only three raids succeeded, but only one raiding D5 was crippled, and no raiders were lost. In addition, the BATS in 2308 lost its fighters fighting off an adjacent raid.
With everything in good shape (the scenario decrees a number of ships crippled at start, but you can easily set them up on bases to repair them), I did offensives across the board. The Hydrans somewhat inexplicably have an intact planet after everything else is wiped out, and I sent in the fleets to there, including some of the Aux CVs, which was a mistake. I went after the Kzinti capital as it has several planets that have recovered from devastation, but still have no defenses. In NW Federation space, I tried going after several planets and BATS, but blew my sequencing so the 4th Fleet could react to save 2306 (Cygnus) as all the other major fleets in range of the SB had moved. I actually saw the problem, but just didn't want to go back and re-record a long log I was in the middle of. The Romulans naturally poured over the border to take out the border BATS and threaten the 6th Fleet SB and adjacent planets, with the Home Fleet coming up to set up shop on one the NZ planets.
[Green arrows are movement; light blue are reactions, and darker blue is Reserve movement.]
0217: SSC: Hydran: retreat
0218: SSC: Hydran: dest POL; Klingon: crip F5
0416: Hydran: dest NSC, DDS, crip 2xHR; Lyran: dest STJ; crip 2xCW, DW; Klingon: dest D6M, 2xE4A, SAV, crip D6G, F5
1702: SSC: Kzinti: retreat
1902: Kzinti: dest BATS, CLD, SDF; Klingon: dest D6J, F5L, crip D7C, D5, F5
1802: Kzinti: dest FKE, crip CVE, DDE; Klingon: dest D5, E4, crip 2xD7, F5E
2006: Federation: dest BATS
1702: Klingon: dest F5
1401: Keevarsh I: devastated; Keevarsh II: devastated; Vielsalm I: devastated; Vielsalm II: devastated; Vielsalm III: devastated; Vronkett: devastated; Kzinti: dest CLD, 2xFKE, SDF, SAD, crip CL, CLD, 2xSF, capture DWG, E4A; Lyran: dest CWS, 2xDW, DWE, crip CA, 4xCW, CWE, STJ, DW, DDE; Klingon: dest F5, crip F5, E4A
2004: Federation: dest BATS; Klingon: crip F5
2106: Klingon: dest 2xF5
2308: Federation: dest BATS; Klingon: crip D6
2311: SSC: Federation retreats
2306: Federation: dest 3xPDU, DD, crip DD, SWAC; Klingon: dest MD5,F5L, 2xF5, F5E crip D7, D5, F5; Lyran: crip BC, 2xCW
2211: Retreat after declined approach
2312: Klingon: dest F5L
2509: Federation: dest FF; Klingon: dest D5A, crip F5
3212: Federation: dest BATS; Klingon: crip F5
3215: Federation: dest BATS; Romulan: crip WE, SNB
3415: Neutral: dest 2xPDU; Romulan: crip WE, capture planet
3414: Federation: dest BATS; Romulan: crip BH
3613: Federation: dest BATS; Romulan: crip K5L, K5
3812: Federation: dest BATS; Romulan: crip SK, SNB
3912: Neutral: dest 2xPDU; Romulan captures planet
3612: Romulan: dest KE
3711: Federation: dest 2xPDU, crip 3xFF; Romulan: crip K7R, capture planet
3611: Federation: dest CC, DD, crip DD, FF, 2xFFE; Romulan: dest SUP, K4, crip SP, 2xSN
Tackling the main Hydran fleet turned out to be a lot tougher than I had anticipated. Not only does the IC allow for high ComPot (even for Hydrans!), but they were able to force a -2 shift with relative ease. (I started chipping away at that.) I decided to pull out before I exhausted all the fighter reserves, and left a large Hydran fleet loose with a lot of Coalition cripples around. I had anticipated pushing him off the last intact Hydran planet, and so brought along the Klingon SAV, which I promptly lost in the slow unit battle.
A D6 and F5 vs 2xPOL rolled a '2', allowing one to retreat after the other withdrew to 1802. Meanwhile, a decent force took out the last Kzinti BATS, and both sides then retreated onto 1802 (further talks about the meaning of 'units' in retreat says I may not have been able to do that; it would have been close though). Sadly, a successful ground assault took out a defending 'G', but couldn't do more on a second roll. Both sides then retreated off the planet, with the Kzinti going to 1702 to kill the F5, and re-open the supply grid to 1802.
The raid on the Kzinti capital went well, since I was fighting his ships without defenses backing them up in the outer systems. I re-devastated everything outside the main system and managed to pick off a few valuable ships. However, the we finally saw good capture rolls for the retreat and the slow unit retreat, letting the Kzinti get two poor ships: a DWG and an E4A. The slow unit retreat tripped me up again, with Byron able to bring extra ships to balance the non-slow escorts I was using. Still, I have a number of spare E4As at the moment, and nothing bigger went.
I went in for a round at the major planet at 2306, and regretted it when the Feds rolled a '6' with a larger line than I had expected. I mauled half the the PDUs, and then got an approach round to burn off most of the resulting involuntary minus points before retreating. He killed the MD5 in form, so at least it saved killing the BC.
Having already taken more damage for less gain on the Klingons than I wanted, I retreated out after a declined approach battle with the 3rd Fleet SB. The Federation also retreated off, hitting a little two-ship holding force in 2312, and reestablishing main grid supply.
Byron was understandably surprised when I put the D5A on the line in 2509, but I wanted the extra ComPot, and wasn't expecting to be facing yet another -2 EW shift, which canceled my plans for actually using the SFG. And, I'm not a fan of the marginal abilities of the D5A, so I'm not too unhappy at losing it.
About half of the Federation 4th Reserve went to 3612, which was still far better than what the Romulans had in the hex. I didn't want to kill a KE, but it was that or cripple 3xWE, and probably lose them all in pursuit.
Overall, I can't help but be disappointed with the results, though I wasn't really expecting to take planet 3711. I knew there would be some problems, as I'm stepping into a big war in progress without a great idea of what shape everyone is in. There's no immediate 'history' to provide momentum. In addition, I made a number of mistakes, and did not really focus on just a few goals. Over our years of play, Bel has been playing catch-up to me, and now I'm facing someone who knows the game much better than I. In retrospect, I needed to pay a bit more attention to mauler and scout builds, as the Alliance EW situation is a lot better than I expected.
- [+] Dice rolls